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Subject: General questions about DocBook -> LaTeX


I am currently working on some product data sheets for computer hardware products that my company makes, and I chose to use DocBook since I want to make both HTML and PDF versions of these documents.  DocBook XML is working great for this task so far, since I can make both HTML and PDF output from the same XML source.

However, I am running into the issue where I need to heavily customize the PDF output (to make it nice and pretty for print), and I am having trouble writing an XSL stylesheet for FO output to do everything I need.  It is growing more and more complicated as I work on it, and it is proving to be rather difficult to get FO to work the way I want it to.

I've read online that some people follow a different procedure; instead of going from DocBook to FO, they go from DocBook to LaTeX before creating their final PDF print output (using dblatex, for example).  I am wondering if this would be a better publishing model for my needs, since I know LaTeX is made for print output.  I've never used LaTeX before, however, so it would take some research on my part before starting to work with it.

So, the point of this email is to ask some general questions, if anyone with more experience can answer them for me:

1. What are the main advantages of going from DocBook to LaTeX before generating final print output of documents?
2. If you know what you're doing, can you do most things with XSL stylesheets and FO that you could do with LaTeX?
3. Which publishing model would be the best choice for making pretty PDFs for print.

I realize that these are vague questions, and it is probably perfectly valid to respond "it depends on what you are actually doing in your documents".  I understand this, but I wanted to first get a basic understanding of what can be gained by the DocBook -> LaTeX publishing model before further investing large amounts of time in either approach.


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