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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK-APPS: docbookXML conversion utility - looking for betasites

On Fri, 21 Jun 2002, Rizwan Virk wrote:

> While scanning the DocBook world, it seems that there is a lot of attention
> paid to how to take content in docbook and to transform it into other
> formats - text, HTML, PDF, etc., but not so much the other way around.

HTML might be amenable to such transformations, it is after all an
application of SGML/XML. But PDF is not so easy. Someone intent upon
preventing this backwards conversion could construct a pathological case
such that the text cannot be recovered in any sensible fashion.
Obfuscating the text flow by rearranging the drawing primitives so that
the text is not rendered sequentially will defeat all but the human eye.

> We're looking for people who want to convert existing content (PDF files,
> word files, text files, HTML files) into DocBook but don't want to do it
> manually and who don't already have appropriate tags on the content.

There are parallel problems with Word files. Users who do not use
stylesheets can construct documents that are difficult (maybe
impossible) to convert to SGML/XML. Where style nformation has been used
consistently then it is easier.

Regards, Trevor

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