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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Question on two Docbook/CSS-related tools

Apparently no one has informed http://big.faceless.org/ of this, their Report Generator product uses XHTML + CSS2 to produce professional-quality PDF output, simpler and faster than FOP, I might add.  ;-)
CSS is not a transformation language like XSL or DSSSL, so I don't quite get that comparison, unless you're referring to XSL-FO, which is contained in the XSL spec, I suppose.  According to http://www.w3c.org/Style/CSS/ CSS is "a simple mechanism for adding style (e.g. fonts, colors, spacing) to Web documents," although I'd add that while it was originally intended for continuous media, it has extensions for Paged Media that people use professionally.  I see XSL and XSL-FO as complementary technologies to CSS, facilitating an easier way to describe text flow in cases where CSS even with Paged Media extensions won't quite do.  But in CSS2.1 with Paged Media extensions, one can do describe quite a lot of styling without ever having to resort to FO, although XSL is still required for things like Table of Contents generation and indexing.
What interests me about Prince 4.0 as described was the ability to go directly from Docbook+CSS to PDF, rather than a 2-step (using XSL) to XHTML+CSS and then PDF.  I'm also open to any other suggestions.

Jirka Kosek <jirka@kosek.cz> wrote:
Edward Bishop wrote:

> Their formatter converts XML + CSS to PDF or Postscript, and has
> style sheets for XHTML and Docbook. In their release notes, they
> also claim support for CSS3 Paged Media extensions like "PageBox"
> which has formatting capabilities comparable to XSL-FO.

I don't believe that CSS could be used as a full-fledge formatting
language for print output. In CSS there is missing transformation and
query engine that is available to both XSL and DSSSL. How you can
generate ToC? How you can generate index? How you can generate text of

IMHO CSS is suitable for easy previewing of document or for styling it
in WYSIWYG XML editors. But serious print output can't be done in CSS.

May be Prince provides some extensions to get ToC. But the question is
how flexible can be such solution.


Jirka Kosek e-mail: jirka@kosek.cz http://www.kosek.cz
Profesionální školení a poradenství v oblasti technologií XML.
Podívejte se na náš nově spuštěný web http://DocBook.cz
Podrobný přehled školení http://xmlguru.cz/skoleni/

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