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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] fop problems

Alexander Schatten wrote:

> -- was not able to run DSSSL installation instructions for DSSSL gurus, 
> no idea

On Unix boxes this works out of the box and for Windows there are 
several tutorials describing setup -- the most know is probably from 
Markus Hoenicka. I'm using DSSSL almost daily on Windows to get RTF from 

> -- xsl:fo + FOP either complete failure (like above), or a result, that 
> is (was, last tests) nearly completly unusable: defect content, defect 
> tables, lines running out of bounds... not even as draft usable

If you customize stylesheets a lot, you can get almost decent output. 
But still far from perfect.

> -- xsl:fo + XEP: this was the only combination that tolarably worked; 
> result was not really good, but o.k. however xep is extremly expensive, 
> and even in academic version you get the "Render X XEP" text on bottom 
> of the page--->unusable

I must disagree, with XEP you can get really nice PDF. Academic version 
doesn't stamp bottom of a page it just includes PDF annotation on the 
first page. This annotation is not printed and in the Acrobat Reader is 
shown as small icon which doesn't cover text.

> -- recently I tested docbook2pdf on my redhat linux, which gave 
> refreshing good results---basically---but: no index was generated (dont 
> know why) and even worse: all images where included far too big (out of 
> boundaries), allthough they should fit easily.

Index generation process is described even in DSSSL stylesheets 
documentation. You must use Perl script for proper sorting.


> ah, yes, there should be a docbook-->latex processor.

Check db2latex.sf.net. It needs customizations (especially for other 
languages then en and fr, but you can get decent PDF from it -- e.g. 

> so far, no results, unfortunately. I decided to use docbook for a large 
> projecte about 3 years ago, because I assumed, that those problems would 
> be temporarily and the tools with mature, but this seems not to be the 
> case, rather the opposite (fop not even producing bad results, only 
> errors) :-(

Tools are mature, but unfortunately not free ones. I'm producing camera 
ready texts from RTF output with MS Word and Acrobat Distiller from 1998 
and same with XEP for let say last year.

The problem is that to get really nice look you must customize 
stylesheets. And customizing print stylesheets is much more difficult 
than HTML ones because you can't use CSS. And yes, both XSL-FO and DSSSL 
languages are much more complex then CSS.


   Jirka Kosek  	
   e-mail: jirka@kosek.cz

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