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Subject: RE: [docbook-apps] DocBook -> PDF paths that aren't hugely expensive?

Hi Robin, 

I've had a lot of success with PrinceXML (http://www.princexml.com/) as a DocBook to PDF solution. Like Antenna House (which I haven't used), it allows you to control appearance via fairly robust CSS stylesheets. It's not free (about $500 for a single-user license last time I looked), but it's incredibly flexible for layout and design.

Also note that while it can produce your PDF directly from the DocBook XML source, I find it much better to transform your DocBook to HTML (using the open source stylesheets) then process the HTML through Prince. This allows you to take advantage of some of DocBook's more powerful features- auto-TOCs, labeling, indices, etc.  

Good luck.


-----Original Message-----
From: Robin Lee Powell [mailto:rlpowell@digitalkingdom.org] 
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2012 5:12 AM
To: docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [docbook-apps] DocBook -> PDF paths that aren't hugely expensive?

I don't mind paying for software but I can't afford the thousands
that XEP costs, for exmaple.

I'm really wondering what paths exist these days for turning DocBook
into something that you can actually send to a book publisher (which
seems to mean PDF, and that's certainly my preference, but I'm open
to other options there)?

I'm looking at http://www.dpawson.co.uk/docbook/tools.html#d884e128
as a starting point, and here's what I know:

- dblatex is hugely brittle (trust me on this)

- PassiveTeX appears to be dead

- DocBook In ConTeXt was last updated in 2003, which means that even
  if it works it's pre-5.0

(you may notice from the ordering of this list that I like TeX's
output style :)

- FOP can't handle auto-width tables, which rules it out entirely
  for my purposes

- xmlroff's compatibility page claims that it, also, doesn't do auto

- wkhtml2pdf can't do page-number-based cross references, which
  means it's of no use for printed output

Those are all the ones I've tried or seriously looked at.  I could
*really* use some pointers here.

I'm feeling a bit grumpy about the whole thing because I was under
the impression from the DocBook site that I could, ya know, use it
to produce books.  :)  And so for that hasn't actually worked out
very well.


http://singinst.org/ :  Our last, best hope for a fantastic future.
.i ko na cpedu lo nu stidi vau loi jbopre .i danfu lu na go'i li'u .e
lu go'i li'u .i ji'a go'i lu na'e go'i li'u .e lu go'i na'i li'u .e
lu no'e go'i li'u .e lu to'e go'i li'u .e lu lo mamta be do cu sofybakni li'u

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