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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Two nagging problems with docbook2pdf in texlive 2019

I spent the day playing with the demo versions of XEP and Antenna House Formatter. I got both of them up and running using xsltproc and the default xsl stylesheet, with the SelfDocBook as a source xml file. Pdf from both looks good.

Following DocBook XSL TCG, I was able to add a new font and enable ligatures by editing xep.xml. So XEP seems like I could make it work.

Antenna House Formatter was not too bad to install, but the documentation is huge, and I have yet to figure out how to add a font or enable ligatures. I found the font-config.xml file and added a font to it, but I can't figure out how to tell the formatter to use that font. There also seems to be extensions required to enable ligatures, but I haven't figured out how to use them, either on the command line or in a configuration file. Is the AH Formatter much more complicated to use than XEP? Any kind of "newbie guide" for it?

As much as I hate to flush all my dsssl-jadetex customizations, it seems like xsl-fo is going to be the way to go.

From: Norm Tovey-Walsh
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2021 11:00 AM
To: Kevin Dunn
Cc: docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] Two nagging problems with docbook2pdf in texlive 2019

Kevin Dunn <kdunn@hsc.edu> writes:
> Thanks, Dave. You were helpful to me 10 years ago. The XEP PDF output
> looks pretty nice with the default xsl stylesheet. There are some
> fancy things I achieved with dsssl and jadetex, and I'm not sure how

There’s a blast from the past!

I’ve been chatting, off and on, with Peter Flynn about working on a way
to use TeX as a formatting back end in the modern era. But it’s not in
the top couple of reams of the todo list, at the moment.

I expect the future is XML+CSS and that’s what I have in mind for the
xslTNG stylesheets. It would be entirely possible, of course, to
generate XSL-FO, but it feels like custom-HTML output and custom-CSS fed
through Antennahouse would be the shortest path to victory.

PrinceXML would also work that way.

AFAIK, there are no free formatters that take HTML+CSS and produce
results comparable with FOP, which surprises me. (Not that the FOP level
of output would satisfy your requirements; but the lack of reasonable
open source print formatters is one of the things that leads me to
ponder generating LaTeX. You know, like we did in the 90’s when we were
young! :-))

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Tovey-Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>

> Linux. Because rebooting is for hardware upgrades.

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