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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Docbook and style

It is somewhat simplistic to say that DB5 can be easily customised with a simple customisation layer - some customisations for style are easy (and the stylesheets logical to follow), while others are frustratingly difficult because the logic changes (such as customising figure, table and example labels from the "en.xml" file rather than the relevant titlesheet xsl).
I will start to customise PDFs for style quite a bit from now on, but I am more interested in how XSLT 2 will be incorporated into the next major release of DB.
I think perhaps that the standard stylesheets will need to be substantially debugged if even the most eloquent customisations still fail to achieve the desired style results. I have come across this with trying to turn off a front cover for epub (I was able to customise only some parts of what I wanted - what I can't achieve through customisation comes down to buggy stylesheets.
Dave Gardiner

-----Original Message-----
From: davep <davep@dpawson.co.uk>
To: Docbook-apps <docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 17:44:37 +0100
Subject: [docbook-apps] Docbook and style

Docbook is now used for many other uses than tech doc.  With this come
style requirements.  Since db5 now uses Relax NG, which is easy to
customize, is it possible to add a simple 'decorative' customization
to add markup specifically for styling.  E.g. Drop caps for the first
letter of the first para of a chapter.  Direct italics, rather than
indirect via emphasis/@role.  Specific styling/font directives for
headings. Letting the stylesheet author know about font requirements
etc, perhaps as metadata? Perhaps as <phrase font='xxx'>Some Greek</
I'm sure there are many more options

With such markup, a simple customization layer could cater for the
styling off that markup without putting any workload on the basic
docbook styling.

How much does this approach grate with classical docbook usage?  I
don't see that it need impact on any such usage. I can see the
objection from the semantic markup only view, though those with that
view need not make any use of the schema customization.

It will be a fine line between markup for styling and styling itself.
Until this is explored, I'm not really sure where those lines might
be drawn?

Comments? Support? Disapproval?
What are your styling requirements at the markup level.


Dave Pawson

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