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Subject: Re: General questions about DocBook -> LaTeX

Hello Colin,

On Mon, 19 Feb 2007 16:16:30 -0600
"Colin Shapiro" <cmshapiro@gmail.com> wrote:

> 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<http://dblatex.sourceforge.net/>, 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.

Unless you are an experienced LaTeX user, you'd better avoid the LaTeX

> 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?

The main advantages,

* better typesetting quality,
* more control over the final layout.

However, if you don't know LaTeX, you can't get them. An offensive
remark: I expect that the authors of dblatex and db2latex are not LaTeX
experts and their tools don't give the advatanges.

I'm also not an expert, but I have experience with converting XML to
LaTex. I lost a lot of time in LaTeX debris, but the results were very

Unfortunately, at the moment the results are not available. Year ago,
I promised to write DocBook TeXML stylesheets, but I still can't start
doing it.

> 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've developed Consodoc publishing server:

XML to beautiful documents

I think it's one of the best choices.

> 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.

At the moment, the safe side is to follow FO. At least, nobody will accuse
you in case of problems.

> Thanks.

Oleg Parashchenko  olpa@ http://xmlhack.ru/  XML news in Russian
http://uucode.com/blog/  Generative Programming, XML, TeX, Scheme

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