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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK: XSL:FO Document Organization

On Tue, Oct 22, 2002 at 10:54:47PM -0400, Jason Foster wrote:
> I've been trying to figure out how the DocBook XSL stylesheets organize 
> the resulting output.  I am using the Xalan/FOP toolchain.  When I view 
> the resulting PDF file, the pages I see are:
> - title page, including title and author
> - page with rules on top and bottom, along the with title and author
> - a page with rules on top and bottom, *with no content*
> - dedication
> - TOC
> - colophon *not at the end of the document*
> - parts, chapters, etc.
> Is there any documentation anywhere that describes the sequence of 
> pages that is being generated?  I'd love to either get rid of, or 
> provide content within, the empty third page.  So far though, my 
> searches have been for naught.

That extra blank page seems to be a bug in FOP.

The XSL templates that generate a book's title pages
consist of:


Only the recto and verso templates print content, for the
front and back, respectively, of the title page.  The other
templates are usually for handling how page transitions
take place.  The titlepage-separator template for a book
produces a break-after="page" property to close the verso
title page.

The dedication or TOC that follows the title pages start
a new page sequence. The FOP processor is supposed to
recognize that a break-after property just before a new
page sequence does not trigger a blank page.  That is
what the XEP and PassiveTeX processors do.  But FOP
does not recognize that combination, and so outputs
a useless blank page.

If you are only using FOP, then you can create a
stylesheet customization that gets around this problem.
The following converts the relevant template to an
empty template so it doesn't output that break-after.
Then the new page sequence will happen without an
extra page:

<xsl:template name="book.titlepage.separator">

If you have other title page customizations that call
for generating new titlepage templates from
titlepage.templates.xml (that's .xml), then you can
make this change there.

If you want to learn more about DocBook title pages,
see the documentation I wrote on the stylesheets at


Bob Stayton                                 400 Encinal Street
Publications Architect                      Santa Cruz, CA  95060
Technical Publications                      voice: (831) 427-7796
Caldera International, Inc.                 fax:   (831) 429-1887
                                            email: bobs@caldera.com

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