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Subject: Re: [docbook] is DocBook adapted to this document generation schem?

For the first step (converting java objects to XML), you may want to look at the Betwixt project (http://jakarta.apache.org/commons/betwixt).  I've been using it successfully to convert JavaBeans into an XML-representation.  By default, this project maps JavaBean property names directly to the XML attribute names, but it is, of course, customizable.  I haven't played around with that a whole lot, but that may give you a quick start on converting to XML.  It took me very little time to get started with it.

For the XML vocabulary, you're going to be best off in the long run if you get your data into a very domain-specific vocabulary.  You mention bills, contracts, letters, and administrative papers, and of these, only administrative papers might map to DocBook.  For the others, check out www.xml.org for a pretty comprehensive listing of industry-specific XML projects (including a 'legalXML' project).

That doesn't mean that you can't use DocBook as an intermediary step in your publishing process.  If you want your end documents to look a lot like what comes out of a DocBook toolchain, just write an XSLT stylesheet to convert your domain-specific XML documents into DocBook, then pass that DocBook through the toolchain.  This allows you to take advantage of the many DocBook publishing tools out there while keeping your source XML in a very data-centric format.



Carl wrote:

I'm looking for a way to generate good looking documents from a data tree. After a look on google, here is my view :

My data tree will be a (java) object tree certainly mapped on a DB.

I will use LaTeX as a type setting formater, then export LaTeX files in PDF.

The process to generate document will be this one :

Data tree & XML template will be proceed to generate an XML document.
I've looked on freeMarker & Velocity to to this, any recommandations, other options ?

This XML document will be transformed by an XSLT to produce LaTeX file. the project DB2LaTeX seems to solve this part, any recommandations, other options ?

Then the LaTeX document will be compiled and a PDF file produced.

Now the difficult part (at least for me) :
The documents I would to produce are : bills, contracts, letters, administrative papers, etc. All these documents are strongly typed. So for each type, I will need to write a :
- adapted data tree
- XML template
- custumized XSLT to produce LaTeX file
- may be a custom LaTeX style

The last decision is : whitch DTD use for the XML template ?
Still on google, I've founded :
- DocBook
- tBook

Is it a good option for me to use one of these or should I defined my own DTD for each type of documents ? I'm asking this question in terms of good separation layer and design pattern. Should this DTD reflet the form or the content ? If I use custom DTD, it will be the DTD of an XML representation of the data tree. What is the good way ?

Sorry if this post is a little OT but I don't know how to know if docBook is a good option for me.

Thanks for all direction and answers,


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Jeff Beal
Contemporary Technologies, Inc. (http://www.contemptech.com)
444 Liberty Ave., Suite 1800
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1223
phone: 412-642-2222 x246
fax: 412-642-2223

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