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Subject: Re: [docbook] Loss of faith -- somewhat rantish

On Sat, Jul 12, 2003 at 09:34:03AM +0200, Scot W. Stevenson wrote:
> It is beyond me what
>     <!DOCTYPE article PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.2//EN"
>          "http://docbook.org/xml/4.2/docbookx.dtd" []>
> actually does or means, why I have to invoke an URL just to get a article off 

  You don't have to understand it to use DocBook

> Actually, we even start out with a first line 
>     <?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
> where the programs go into hysterics if you put in once space too many, which 

   Then your XML processor is at fault

> whitespace-obsessed Python. The "encoding" tag obviously doesn't seem to do 
> anything either because the machinery behind DocBook just ate my German 
> umlauts anyway when one "drop in" replacement, well, wasn't. Still haven't 
> fixed that one, by the way. 

  Plain wrong, it's not DocBook who understood the umlauts, it's the XML
and this processor MUST get the "ISO-8859-1" to actually make teh mapping
between the byte representing umlaut in that encoding and teh actual 
character. Mind you with russian "ISO-8859-2" the exact same document whould
have had a different character !

> The tools are not much better. After using the simple and logically named 
> "db2html" script to translate my files for a while, I was told that this was 
> not so good because, uh, I'm using a DSSSL tool for an XML format (I think). 
> So I check Ashley J.S Mills' introduction to DocBook, and he tells me to run 
> xsltproc (not quite an intuitive program name in this context, by the way -- 
> how about a wrapper?) like this:

  Sorry what's your problem with xsltproc name ? you needed xsltprocessor ?

>   xsltproc file:///path/to/docbook-xsl/xhtml/docbook.xsl in.xml > out.html
> Heck if I know where "docbook.xsl" is on my computer; whereis doesn't know 
> either, it isn't in any /usr/lib/ or /lib or /usr/local/lib place, and the 
> /usr/share/sgml directory where DocBook stuff lives isn't much help either, 
> because it is, at first glance, chaotic. Running xsltproc without the file 
> entry doesn't work (hangs without an error message, even though it is listed 
> as optional in the man page -- nice one). 

  Yeah, because the nstylesheet and the file to transfor *can* be merged,
or the information about the stylesheet to use can be indicated by the 
XML file, in that case only one file/URL need to be passed to xsltproc.
It's okay to not understand what you're doing, but it's not okay to
blame others for your lack of understanding, I think it's the core of
the issue about your mail, and which I take issue with :-(

> Why do I have to know where docbook.xsl is anyway? Can't the system have a 

You shouldn't . If you have a proper XML catalog setup you can just indicate
the canonical URL for the stylesheet which is a static URL somewhere
on dockbook.org and doesn't change with the local setup . The XML catalog
should have been installed as part of the Linux installation of the
DocBook stylesheets package.

> I'm going to go take a cold shower for a while, and yes, I do feel somewhat 
> better now, thank you. But this is terribly frustrating, and I am getting to 
> the point where the good things are not worth the hassle. 
> Again, sorry for the rant,

If you can't understand the framework, then don't. You don't have to learn
Linux (seems part of your problem there) or XML or even DocBook. I'm pretty
sure you can avoid all those frustration by buying some prepackaged XML 
processing and editing tools. Then go rant to the hotline of the product
you purchased, you paid for the right of annoying them ...

  Thank you for pissing me off a Saturday morning, have a nice week-end :-(


Daniel Veillard      | Red Hat Network https://rhn.redhat.com/
veillard@redhat.com  | libxml GNOME XML XSLT toolkit  http://xmlsoft.org/
http://veillard.com/ | Rpmfind RPM search engine http://rpmfind.net/

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