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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] is docbook the right tool for the job?

> On Wed, Sep 03, 2003 at 08:01:18AM -0700,
>  Bob Stayton <bobs@sco.com> wrote 
>  a message of 37 lines which said:
> > The other aspect is whether the tools will produce the
> > quality of output your need.  Keep in mind that 
> > there are other FO processors that do a better job
> > than the free processors PassiveTeX and FOP.
> You can produce PDF from DocBook without FO. I still use jade +
> pdfjadetex, which does not require non-free tools (Java JRE) and works
> better than PassiveTeX.

My impression is that while *jade is a good tool, xsl is much better supported
than dsssl now. Both toolsets have bugs, but the xsl-based one is more likely
to get better with time. Java JRE is a free tool, by the way. As free as TeX.

On the other hand, the problems the original author mentions are not solved by using jadetex
instead of passivetex; many of them are inherent to the idea of batch formatting.
However, keeping the limitations in mind, one can produce very well-looking documents;
current implementations (AntennaHouse, RenderX) do have shortcomings, but the shortcomings
are not in the overall rendering capabilities, but in neat things, such as kerning, global
line-breaking optimization and rendering heuristics. 

Overall, the quality is quite good. 

And will definitely get better with time.

David Tolpin

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