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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK-APPS: Re: Generating PDF


> Seeing as how it sounds like your having problems, I thought I would jot
> down my proccess and hopefully it will help you a bit.  It's not directly
> into pdf, as it's converted to tex first, but works well enough for me.

Many thanks for your description, and it's relatively close to what I 
currently do. (http://www.e-smith.org/docs/docprocess.html )

I apologize if I wasn't as clear in my response to Greg before.  He and I
know each other (through the Linux Documentation Project) and he knows more
about what I'm trying to do. My response must have come across as a bit more
of a "cry for help" than it really was. I actually have a system that works
quite fine for generating PDF files (described in the link above). The
systems I have generate PDF, (chunked and non-chunked) HTML and text files
and are all automated via Makefiles. Everything works fine.  All my 
XML files work with SGML processing with a simple switch of the header,
so I *can* get PDF files whenever I need to.

What I am interested in is moving away from the SGML/DSSSL tools (like
(open)jade) and into the XML/XSLT tools (like xsltprox, Xalan, Saxon, 
FOP and PassiveTeX).  Why?  Just because I want more control over formatting
and I have just not ever felt comfortable with DSSSL.  On the other hand,
I do understand XSLT better and have now written some basic stylesheets
and built multiple XSLT customization layers on top of Norm's XSL 
stylesheets. So I want to go that route.

Thanks to 'xsltproc' from libxslt (http://www.xmlsoft.org/XSLT/ ), I'm
all set with converting DocBook XML into (chunked or non-chunked) HTML
files.  That's all working great and I am extremely pleased with the
quality of the output, the processing speed (fast!) and my ability to
customize the output (via my own XSLT customization layer).  Prior to
using xsltproc, when I had a working Java environment, I was using Xalan
and Saxon and they, too, worked fine for generating HTML from XML.

What I want to do next is work on going *directly* from DocBook XML
to PDF.  For non-commercial options, there is FOP and PassiveTeX. 
Unfortunately, I was doing something on my system one day and wound up no
longer having a working Java environment, so FOP is out until I can 
find the time to figure out what is wrong.  I just downloaded PassiveTeX,
and, likewise, haven't had the time to figure out the installation.
Both of these are things that I just have to make the time to do...
and I'm not sure when I will be able to do so.

So that's where I am at... unfortunately, there's nothing anyone can
really do to help me! It's just something I've got to do.

> BTW, congrats on the Mitel thing, hope everything works out well for
> you guys there.

Many thanks!  We are extremely excited about it and looking forward
to the new opportunities and possibilities.  (For those who don't know, 
we (e-smith) were recently acquired by Mitel Networks. See
http://www.e-smith.org/article.php3?sid=48&mode=&order=0 for more info.)


Dan York, Director of Training        dyork@e-smith.com
Ph: +1-613-751-4401  Mobile: +1-613-263-4312 Fax: +1-613-564-7739 
e-smith, inc. 150 Metcalfe St., Suite 1500, Ottawa,ON K2P 1P1 Canada
http://www.e-smith.com/            open source, open mind

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