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Subject: side floats working

I've added support for side floats in the DocBook XSL FO stylesheet. I would
be happy if people would try it out.  The changes are checked into CVS, but
not in an official release yet.  You can download the snapshot release from
http://docbook.sourceforge.net/snapshots/ .  Of course, you will need some
documentation, so use this section from the forthcoming third edition of my


The side float support includes putting sidebar elements into side floats,
creating margin notes, and creating custom side floats for other elements.

Note that these side floats only work with XSL-FO processors that support
side floats.  That includes XEP's RenderX and Antenna House's XSL Formatter.
It doesn't include FOP or XML2PDF yet.

One change I had to make that might upset some customizations is that I
replaced the use of the "title.margin.left" parameter with a new
"body.start.indent" parameter. When title.margin.left is used, the body
region is reduced and titles are outdented to the left of the body region
boundary.  This distorts the page layout, and led to several kludgy
adaptations for things like centering something on the page.

When it came time to implement side floats, I found that they behave better
when they are in the body region.  So the body.start.indent parameter adds a
start-indent of 4pc to the fo:flow of chapter page sequences.  That
start-indent is inherited by everything on the page that doesn't set its own
value.  So I also added a start-indent="0pt" to the component and section
titles. The effect is the same as with title.margin.left, but it is
implemented differently. If you use title.margin.left and set start-indents
in your customization, then you may need to make some adjustments.

But the new settings provide working space for putting things in the
margins.  I think that is sufficient gain to make this transition

Let me know if you run into problems using these new features.

Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises
DocBook Consulting

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