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Subject: DOCBOOK-APPS: DSSSL vs. XSL and processing tools


I am about to embark on the journey of learning docbook and have little
experience with XML. My first step is to decide on a style language and
processing tool, and I am hoping that folks on this list can enlighten me on
a few points.

My goal is to produce post script (for conversion to PDF), RTF, and HTML.
The "Definitive Guide" (Walsh & Muellner) is oriented towards DSSSL. DSSSL
sounds robust enough, and I like the fact that OpenJade has a strong
reputation and is supported in both Windows and Linux. (The fact that
OpenJade comes as a plain executable instead of as a Java app also appeals
to me because I find that Java apps get me into problems with my Java
run-time libraries.) Still, XSL has become quite popular these days (the
"XML Bible" does not even have a single index entry for DSSSL) and so I
wonder if I should put my energies into familiarizing myself with it. If I
can get up and running with XSL as quickly as with DSSSL/OpenJade, and if
the results are comparable, it seems like it would be wise, from a
professional development perspective, to get experience with XSL. But if
DSSSL has significant advantages, I won't just go with XSL because it's the
"in" thing.

So, my first question is: What are the pros and cons of DSSSL versus XSL in
so far as publishing Docbook documents is concerned?

Secondly, if I do go with XSL, is there a processor of the stature of
OpenJade (free, reliable, and cross-platform [Windows & Linux])?


Philip Glaser
Principal and Software Architect
Sustainable Software Solutions, LLC

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