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Subject: Re: [docbook] Getting started: editors, direct rendering, which DTD?

Ian S. Worthington wrote:
> Hi.
> I'm looking to learn some more about DocBook.  I've done some reading at the
> main site and followed up some of the links and am at the stage where I'm
> getting more confused rather than less: I believe a lot of the information I'm
> reading may be somewhat out of date.

Depends where you're reading. Lots hasn't changed for some time,
in some cases it's only minor changes.
Ask with specifics.

> I'm looking to author small technical documents, on a Windows platform: Am I
> right in thinking XmlMind seems to be the editor of choice for this, even
> though its Personal Edition is not free for commercial use? Are there any
> alternatives I should be seriously considering?

Very personal choice.
Mine is emacs or oXygen. The latter commercial but will do what you 
want. Edit and apply style within a package.
oXygen will work on windows or Linux.
I've not used XMLMind.

> My strong preference is to be able to render DocBook file directly in an up to
> date IE browser, rather than build and upload to a website. 

The latter is usually the former with an ftp transfer, so no difference.
IE? No interest. Docbook XSLT produces valid HTML which will work in
all of todays browsers. A big benefit of choosing docbook!
You don't say, but perhaps imply, that you want to transform it in the 
I'd suggest you become used to working docbook xml through to html on 
disk, then just refresh the browser view of the html. Makes it easier
to see what's going on, and deal with any errors.

  Is this a
> feasible objective for small documents?
Very much so.. but it will also scale to quite large document sets too.

   Should I be looking at the Simplified
> DTD to do this rather than v4 or v5? 

Your choice. v5 is ready for use, if you're happy working
with namespaces and relax NG. v4.5 is stable.

  If so, can you suggest suitable XSL
> transforms and CSS style sheets that would get me up to speed quickly?

Again your choice.
I find Saxon (saxonica.com) good as an XSLT engine, though Xalan
is possibly used just as much (if you're a java user).
Others are available.
CSS? Less sure. Decide how you want your html decorating
then take a look at customization and how to get your CSS
linked into the chain.

For that I'd heartily recommend


Dave Pawson
XSLT, XSL-FO and Docbook FAQ

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