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

Currently I am very happy with the SGML/XML -> PDF via jade/DSSSL
toolchain. We (my company) don't really have any open issues. We are
using the toolchain to produce release notes, user guides and, more
recently, course notes (which are mainly being converted from MS word

However, you will need to apply patches to the basic tools to get them
to this working point.

The problem is that openjade and jadetex are interdependent. Jadetex
expects openjade to be producing output consisting of various "macros".
Changes in jadetex over the years have added macros - particularly in
the support of double sided printing. The released 1.3 of openjade only
really supports jadetex 2.7 (as does jade 1.2.x).

You need openjade 1.3 (the released version)
+ a bunch of fixes from Francis J Lacoste (this fixes bugs and fits
nicely with jadetex 2.20 - 3.3 )
+ a small patch from me which ties openjade to the recent releases of
jadetex ( 3.4 - 3.11)

You want the latest DSSSL style sheets (>= 1.70 which have some key
fixes for double sided printing and correct pagination of recto/verso
pages) - more specifically, support OpenJade extensions required for
correctly double sided printing). Of course, the latest version will do.

You want the latest (3.11) version of jadetex because this simply has
the least bugs.

The recent versions of jadetex have better control of whitespace/layout,
orphans/widows, tables + support for working two side printing (added in
3.4) + support for roman numerals in "front matter".

However, the DSSSL stylesheets have some problems with deciding what is
front matter and when the pages start esp. when you have a complex mix
of "parts" etc. There isn't really a correct generic fix. The fix that
murray was talking about works for the situation where your book
consists of front matter, table of contents, preface, part I, chapter
...., Part II etc... It won't work if you decide to stick a preface
before each part for example. This is why it isn't in the official
stylesheets - because it isn't really a solution - just reduces the
problem for the most common applications.

You can find the BSD style sheet which contains this fix at


Search for "Castle"...

I've submitted a patch for OpenJade against what was in CVS when I made
the patch... this hasn't been applied, and in either case there has been
no recent release of openjade. There needs to be - as openjade is being
done a great disservice - when the released version contains so many
flaws which have been fixed.

So, in my opinion, the best Linux DocBook SGML -> PDF toolchain is mine
;-). Fortunately, Camille included the patches to openjade + jadetex
3.11 + DSSSL stylesheets 1.72 in Mandrake 8.1. So this has the best tool

If you have rpm2cpio on your debian system you can download the mandrake
8.1 RPM 


And extract the source + the patches. The patches you want are


[I can email these to you if you like - I don't want to bombard the list
with them]

The other patches are mainly to do with the RPM build enviroment, final
file locations and some fixes for the 2.96 compiler.

Further praise for Mandrake... I bought the 8.0 Boxed release and was
pleased to see that the printed guide that comes with it was actually
produced by openjade/jadetex - so they used a linux tool chain all the
way through the production process (as this predated the roman numerals
patch and a few others it looks a bit tatty..). This compares with
Redhat 7.1 manuals (last version I looked at) which was authored in
DocBook, produces the HTML with openjade - but used Arbor Adept/Epic (or
whatever it is) running on Solaris for their printed manuals.

I hope Mandrakesoft have carried on this process in 8.1 as it is a good
example of the "Dog Food" principle....

I also looked at using htmldoc, but it is inferior to the results that
you get with a "fixed" openjade/jadetex toolset.

Hope that helps.



Rick Bronson wrote:
> Murry,
>   Thanks very much for your help.
> > On Sat, Oct 27, 2001 at 03:23:16PM -0700, Rick Bronson wrote:
> > > 2. In the Table of Contents, the first <part> starts on page i, it
> > > seems like it should start on page 1.  The page's that contains the
> > > <partinfo>'s don't have a page number.
> >
> >   Ian Castle posted a solution to this problem several months ago.
> > Check the archives.  His patch worked great for me.
>   I snooped around for the Ian Castle solution, I couldn't find the
> patch on sourceforge.  I tried the Mandrake Cooker,
> ftp://rpmfind.net/linux/Mandrake-devel/cooker/i586/Mandrake/RPMS/jadetex-3.11-1mdk.noarch.rpm
> but wasn't able to get this to do much under debian.  I downloaded the
> CVS tree of "cvs -z3 checkout -r jade_1_1 jade" but it wouldn't
> build.  Could you tell me where I could get this "solution"?  Or maybe
> just a "recipe" for getting in sync to the latest and greatest openjade.
>   Thanks much.
>   Rick
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