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Subject: Re: InDesign typography advantage [Was: Re: [docbook-apps] DocBook and InDesign]

Many thanks for your thorough response. Even I, with only one book
produced using a DocBook-related workflow, can relate to some of the
things you mentioned. The lack of interactivity, in particular, makes
the book design very slow and difficult.

On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 3:45 PM, Giuseppe Bonelli
<peppo.bonelli@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Ivan,
> to further clarify, I am not advocating that InDesign is better than
> FO. I am just trying to introduce docbook based production workflows
> in traditional publishing houses where the use of XPress/Indesign is
> very common.
> Here are the main complaints I hear from clients when I show them
> their books converted to docbook and typesetted using FO.
> #1 (by far the most common).
> We are used to change interactively our layouts and see the results
> before producing the PDFs.
> Example: if we need to move a table or a figure to the top of a recto
> page, we are used to use the mouse. We hate adding a <?dbfo-need
> height="2cm"?> in the xml and running an XSLT from oxygen just to see
> if the table/figure has been moved (and to verify what has happened in
> the following pages)
> #2
> We hate seeing in print the last line of a full justified para with
> just a few characters (say less than 4). In InDesign/Xpress we just
> change the track and we are done. With your FO stuff we cannot even
> change the track of a single word.
> #3
> We hate having to add a <?line-break?> in the XML just to have a soft
> return in the PDF (see #1).
> #4
> If a figure does not fit in the layout, we are used to just resize it
> interactively in inDesign/Xpress
> #5
> We need the flexibility to change small details in tables layout on a
> table by table basis
> #6
> The horizontal full justification algorithm used by the typesetting
> engine leaves too much space between adjacent words
> #7
> The vertical justification functionalities available in FO are quite
> poor and/or not flexible enough (things should get better with XSL
> 2.0)
> #8
> We would like to have the total printed page count without the need of an XSLT
> #9
> The idea of automatic typesetting from XML is very attractive, but we
> need also the flexibility of our DTP applications. We cannot afford to
> have to call an XML software engineer just to have our Index strarting
> on the verso page because we need to eliminate a recto/verso pair to
> close the book on a multiple of 32 pages
> #10
> Your single source-multiple output format workflow is wonderful, but
> we cannot afford to change completely the way our staff works to
> produc our paper based books.
> The final result is that we usually end up with two workflows: one for
> paper output (inDesign based) and one for the digital versions (XML
> based). A robust docbook/inDesign roundtripping solution would then
> add, IMHO, a tremendous value to the whole idea of single sourcing in
> the traditional publishing market.
> For what the differences between Antenna House formatter and FOP are
> concerned, here are a few points worth mentioning:
> 1. AH can output PDF/X and other widely used variations of these
> standards. You can also generate PDF metadata and bookmarks
> 2. in my experience, FOP does not work well with complex footnotes
> (i.e. footnotes containing indexterm entries)
> 2. AH can hypenate in many languages out of the box
> 3. AH has some nice FO extensions for generating crop marks
> 4. AH has some extensions for producing better indexes (avoid page
> number repetitions, page ranges and so on)
> I may be wrong, but this is my experience in real life scenarios.
> Regards,
> __peppo
> On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 3:25 PM, Ivan Ristic <ivan.ristic@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 10:52 AM, Giuseppe Bonelli
>> <peppo.bonelli@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> ...
>> Hi Giuseppe,
>>> I will definitely have to do some work on this as I have some clients
>>> who are not confortable with the typographycal quality you can
>>> actually get with FO, even using the AntennaHouse formatter, and
>>> therefore need a path going from DB to InDesign.
>> Out of interest, what typographic features do your clients seek in
>> InDesign that are not in FOP? To clarify, I am not asking how InDesign
>> is better :)
>> Also, in what ways is Antenna House's processor better than others (e.g., FOP)?
>> --
>> Ivan Ristic
>> ModSecurity Handbook [http://www.modsecurityhandbook.com]
>> SSL Labs [https://www.ssllabs.com/ssldb/]

Ivan Ristic
ModSecurity Handbook [http://www.modsecurityhandbook.com]
SSL Labs [https://www.ssllabs.com/ssldb/]

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