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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] DSSSL or XSLT (was Re: [docbook-apps] Chunking at the chapter level)

On Thu, Apr 24, 2003 at 01:52:30PM -0500, Lic. Rodolfo Gonzalez Gonzalez wrote:
> > But I don't recommend a beginner update their stylesheet
> > installation from CVS unless it is really necessary.
> BTW, I am also new on DocBook, and I would like to hear your opinion on
> what is better to use: the SGML + DSSSL or the XML + XSLT. Of course, I
> understand that the XML can be used in more ways than just for making the
> documents (it could be processed by any program which understands XML),
> and that's a great advantage. But what would you recommend? or what do you
> use the most, for that matter?.

If you are just getting started, there is no reason to
use SGML unless you have existing SGML files that you
must work with.  There are more tools available for XML.
And you can process XML files with either the XSL and DSSSL
tools.  Invest your learning time in XML.

Then your choice is XSL vs. DSSSL stylesheets.
Both stylesheets produce very fine HTML output
using the available free tools.
You have more tool choices on the XSL side.

Both produce very fine print output, but the current crop
of *free* XSL-FO processors are not finished products.
If you are using FOP or PassiveTeX, your output may not meet
your expectations.  You have to be careful
about how you use certain elements, and you still can't
be sure that something won't break in the next release.
If you have a budget to buy an XSL-FO processor from
RenderX or Antenna House, then go with XSL for
both HTML and print.

If you can't afford a commercial XSL-FO processor, you
can combine free tools.  Use xsltproc or Saxon with XSL
for HTML output, and use Jade or OpenJade with DSSSL for
print output.

The XSL stylesheets are getting more development attention
by more people.  They are easier to customize as well.
They are clearly the future, but at the moment the
free XSL print tools are holding them back a bit.


Bob Stayton                                 400 Encinal Street
Publications Architect                      Santa Cruz, CA  95060
Technical Publications                      voice: (831) 427-7796
The SCO Group                               fax:   (831) 429-1887
                                            email: bobs@sco.com

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