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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK-APPS: Best Linux toolchain for SGML->PDF

Rick Bronson writes:

>   My current tool set is:
> debian potato, Docbook 4.1, dsssl-1.73, jadetex 3.11-1, Jade version "1.2.1",
> SP version "1.3.4"

>   Anyone have any opinions on this?

JadeTeX 3.11 is broken for me, but no one responds to the bug reports at
SourceForge.  3.10 works better.  The 1.73 style sheets are not usable for
print output that contains variablelists, because of a bug.  This is
unfortunate, because that release contains a few other improvements for
print output.  I don't know about the Jade vs OpenJade situation, but
OpenJade works for me.

I'm currently in the process of trying to beat a toolchain approximately
equal to yours into formatting about 1500 pages of documentation into
acceptable PDF output.  Problems are tables, various horizontal and
vertical spacing issues, and breaking of extremely long file and url
strings.  If you're using the indexing functionality you need a lot of
fixes.  If you're using bibliographies and/or refentries mixed with
regular sectioned content you might get broken bookmarks.  I encountered a
good load of problems that were rather easy to fix, which indicates to me
that this tool chain isn't widely used for "serious" applications.

I've also encountered various TeX-related problems, such as pdfTeX not
accepting png images with some weird error message (and I haven't found a
way to make pdf images, so I'm running "imageless"), "font substitutions"
that I have no clue about, and formatting reference pages into TeX messes
up the linking completely.

So, er, my opinion is that it can be made to work, but if you're writing
more than an article then it's a bit of an effort.

Peter Eisentraut   peter_e@gmx.net   http://funkturm.homeip.net/~peter

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