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Subject: Announce: DocBook XSL Configurator version 0.6.0_1732

Source and binaries for DocBook XSL Configurator version 0.60.0_1731 are 
available for download from Sourceforge:


You can also use DocBook XSL Configurator online in applet form, available at:


The project is GPLed and open to additional developers. Version 0.60.0_1732 
reflects the changes made to the DocBook XSL FO package up to version 1.73-2. 

You can get a good idea of what DocBook XSL Configurator is and what it does 
from the following:


DocBook XSL Configurator
        DocBook XSL Configurator is a Java application used to create 
        DocBook XSL FO customization layers. The application presents 
        users with a tabbed pane containing several tables. Each row 
        in each table contains several cells, one of which is editable 
        and contains the text of the default setting for a specific 
        DocBook XSL FO parameter. Users create projects containing paths 
        to DocBook XML, common-customization XSL, an external XSLT 
        processor, etc. Users then click through the tables, select 
        DocBook XSL FO parameters they want to include in a customization 
        layer, edit those parameters, include the customization layer in a 
        project, write out the customization layer as an XSL file, and 
        apply the XSL to the project's XML using the project's specified 
        XSLT processor.

        As of version 0.60.0_1732, DocBook XSL Configurator does not yet 
        support the DocBook XSL HTML parameter set. 

        Default FO parameter settings, help text, and guidelines for 
        attribute sets ("property sets") are taken from the DocBook 
        XSL package's FO documentation. Attribute set defaults are 
        just guidelines. 

        DocBook XSL Configurator also includes a "From the Wild" table 
        that provides users with nifty little snippets of XSL intended 
        to help with formatting not implemented in the DocBook XSL FO 
        parameter set. Currently, the number of these snippets is very 
        small; however, the "From the Wild" snippet collection has the 
        potential to grow very large and be very helpful.

Target Audience
        If you are a beginner with DocBook XSL, DocBook XSL Configurator 
        can help you a great deal by bringing all the DocBook XSL FO 
        parameters together, with help, in a GUI. You don't have to switch 
        windows seeking help, and you don't have to manually type out the 
        file containing the XSL FO customization layer. 

        If you are an expert with DocBook XSL, this application may still 
        be of use to you. You may benefit from the speed with which you 
        can create and edit customization layers; you may find that DocBook 
        XSL Configurator projects help you organize documentation sets; or, 
        you may find the application useful for saving customization layers 
        and associating them with specific DocBook XML instances.

Requirements and Use
        DocBook XSL Configurator should work with any Java runtime 
        environment compatible with Sun's Java Virtual Machine version 
        1.6.0 or later. However, each version of DocBook XSL Configurator
        needs a specific version of the DocBook XSL stylesheets. Version
        0.6.0_1732 needs DocBook XSL stylesheet version 1.73-2. Running a
        version of DocBook XSL Configurator with a version of the DocBook XSL
        stylesheets for which it was not intended could produce errors. For
        example, if your customization layer includes a parameter from a later
        version of the stylesheets and you use that customization layer with
        an earlier version of the stylesheets, you will probably get an error.
        Additionally, legal parameter values, defaults, and other details can
        change between stylesheet versions. It is safest to always use the
        version of the stylesheets for which your specific version of DocBook
        XSL Configurator was intended.

        Running DocBook XSL Configurator requires no adjustments to your 
        CLASSPATH, and the DocBookXSLConfigurator.jar file can be placed 
        anywhere in the file system. 

        To use DocBook XSL Configurator, you first build a project. The 
        project contains information DocBook XSL Configurator uses to 
        help create a PDF or PS file from a valid DocBook XML file. The 
        process would go something like this:

        1) Select New Project from the File menu.
                A New Project dialog appears.

        2) Navigate through the dialog, providing the following:
                - the name of an XSLT processor
                - the entire option string to be passed to the xslt processor
                - location of the DocBook XSL stylesheet to use
                - location of a common-customization XSL file
                - an FO processor command string 
                - a PDF viewer command string
                - a PS viewer command string

           DocBook XSL Configurator uses the information provided to 
           run the programs in your tool chain as external subprocesses.

        3) Click through the tables, selecting check boxes for the 
           parameters you want included in your XSL customization layer, 
           and edit the parameter settings as necessary.

        4) Save the project. 

        5) Select parameters and edit them as you like. Then, select 
           Write XSL from the Execute menu. 
                DocBook XSL Configurator presents you with a dialog. Choose 
                a name and a location for the file to save. This is your 
                XSL customization layer. Make certain that the filename 
                and path match with those used when you created the project.
                Keep the same name and path of this file when you update it. 
                Whenever you wish to change this customization layer, adjust 
                your selections and edited parameters in the GUI, and then 
                overwrite this file by selecting Write XSL from the 
                Execute menu.

        6) Select Process XML from the Execute menu. 
                DocBook XSL Configurator runs the XSLT processor specified 
                in your project using the options supplied. You should 
                probably make certain that your XML is actually a valid
                DocBook XML instance first. While the XSLT processor is
                running, you can continue with your work. When it's finished,
                DocBook XSL Configurator presents a dialog box containing any
                messages produced by the XSLT processor. The dialog box is
                presented regardless of errors detected.

        7) Select Process FO from the Execute menu. 
                DocBook XSL Configurator executes the entire FO processor 
                command string from your project settings. While the FO 
                processor is running, you can continue with your work. It 
                typically takes several minutes to complete. When it's 
                finished, DocBook XSL Configurator presents a dialog box 
                containing any messages produced by the FO processor.
                The dialog box is presented regardless of errors detected.

        8) Select 'Display PDF' or 'Display PS' from the View menu.
                As with 'Process XML' and 'Process FO', DocBook XSL 
                Configurator runs the project's command string as an 
                external subprocess. When running the PDF or PS viewer 
                command strings, DocBook XSL Configurator presents a 
                dialog box containing messages returned from the subprocess 
                only if it detects something went wrong.

        Alone, DocBook XSL Configurator will work only partially. To make 
        full use of it, you need the following:

        - a valid DocBook XML instance. If you are new to DocBook XML, 
          you should begin with Norman Walsh and Leonard Muellner's book, 
          DocBook: The Definitive Guide, available online at: 

        - the DocBook XML DTD package installed. You can download it from:

        - the DocBook XSL package installed. You can download it from:

        - some understanding of how the DocBook XSL package works with 
          DocBook XML. Bob Stayton's book, DocBook XSL: The Complete 
          Guide, available online at:
          is probably the best resources available for learning 
          DocBook XSL. 

        - an XSLT engine installed. DocBook XSL Configurator will work 
          with any XSLT engine. I use xsltproc, which is part of the 
          libxml2 package. You can download the libxml2 package from
          You can download precompiled libxml2 binaries for Windows at:

        - an FO processor installed

        - PDF and PostScript viewers installed


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