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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK-APPS: Summary of experiences

On Saturday 10 August 2002 01:08, ed nixon wrote:
> Too bad you don't have more time for this.
> For example, your article crys out for a matrix/table with ticky-marks
> illustrating the cross relationships between your requirements and the
> (in)capabilities of the tools you've evaluated.

That's a good idea: I might add that some time.

> If getting the output is the primary concern, then perhaps you might
> simplify and cut some corners: settle on something that purports to be
> Unicode end-to-end because that seems to be a dominant, must have
> requirement for your application, i.e. XML; XSLT --> HTML, XSLT --> FO,
> FO --> PDF. Forget the RTF; it's not clear why one would want to detour
> into that realm. Then look at a commercial FO package like XEP or Antenna.

Because people using the application I am developing want to be able 
to incorporate the generated documents into other documents.

> [You say FO is changing or evolving. I don't know that this is the case.
> The standard has been settled for a long time now and presents a pretty
> stable target for developers.]

I keep finding messages to that effect on, for instance, the Fop mailing list.
It might be that those archived messages are very old, but the problem remains
that Fop can't handle all of FO.

> XEP and Antenna House? Yes they are too expensive but they are available
> in demo versions that should have enough capability to satisfy (or not)
> yourself that why you want can be done. If so, find the boodle; if not,
> *then* go to the pub.

I'm already in trouble for using a GUI library that costs money on Windows
and OS X -- I can't add a really expensive formatter to the bundle.

> There are some pretty good XSLT sheets available for TEI although I
> doubt they are as rich or actively evolving as the DocBook sheets. Do
> you know XSLT?

Not as well as I wanted to. I had thought to find something that could
convert docbook to output, and then tweak the XSL stylesheets to include
some special things I need. But I didn't have time to get started on

> Ultimately, Fonts and Glyphs to display the work? Well, no matter how
> you get to that cross road, the situation won't likely be any different.

That's not a problem. The Qt GUI library can show all glyphs for which I
have fonts, using Xft or its own method of font substitution. That's very
good, so displaying what I want to input isn't too hard.

> How many people would (or could) read one of these documents, by the way?

:-). I could. One of my users wants to combine latin script, Chinese and IPA, 
and preferably Yi, too, in his publications. And of course, the billion people
who use Chinese or the billion people who use one or more of the Indic 
scripts, together with latin, have the same problems. One of the most useful
resources I found was a page on fitting out a system for Devanagari.

> Good summary but needs a little cleaning up and fact checking.

Well, if you find any more errors, please tell me -- maybe I can find time 
today to incorporate these suggestions.
Boudewijn Rempt | http://www.valdyas.org

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