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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK-APPS: db2latex

> in what ways are they inadequate?
>  >  Besides, db2latex is a kind of freestanding
>  > Docbook to LaTeX converter, using XSL!
> sure. if I was doing the job, I'd start from that
>  >  Last, I don't see where confusion
>  > is: Docbook gives the structure, and latex the expected intermediate
>  > formatting output, even if it's true that latex is a mix of style and
>  > structure.
> "normal" LaTeX does a lot of generation (TOC, index, list numbering,
> section headers, cross-ref text, cite text, etc), all of which are
> also done by eg the DSSSL and XSL Docbook systems. Thats the confusion
> that bothers me. 
> If I wanted LaTeX to format docbook, I'd use xmltex, and not do any
> translation at all. 
I agree mostly with Sebastian (and the others) that XSL-FO is the
(probable) future, but on a pratical level, for documents that have a lot 
of scientific content, mainly math, if we want to print something
typographically acceptable, going the (La)TeX route is still (for years
to come, awaiting the inclusion of math typesetting into XSL-FO) the
only real possibility. I am actively working on---and I am particularly
interested in help with---finding the best way to marry DocBook (+Math,
SVG) with print, be it via XSL-FO (a lot of tuning remains, think about
table handling, not mentioning math), xmltex (directly making TeX
interpret the XML, probably a non-starter for complex DTDs such as
DocBook), or the XSLT to LaTeX approach of db2latex. I think we should
work on all of them in parallel, so that we can learn the difficulties
along the road, and pick the solution that works best today for the
problem at hand, improving at the same time the probability that a global
XSL-FO-based approach will see the light one day. 

Urgent work to be done today is:

1) Complete the XSL-FO part of Norm's stylesheets (as I said, tables need
   some work, since TeX's table model imposes constraints that make a
   general implementation quite involved).
2) expand xmltex (especialy the math bit)
3) complete db2latex (also in particular the math bit)

I think that a coordination of the effort spent in all of these areas
would be worthwhile to optimize resources.

All the best, m

Dr. Michel Goossens              Phone:(+41 22) 767-4902
CERN, IT Division                Fax:  (+41 22) 767-8630
CH-1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland   Email: michel.goossens@cern.ch

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