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Subject: Re: [docbook] Simply viewing DB

I would suggest submitting the document to one of the online DocBook 
formatting engines.  One is from RenderX:


There are others that don't add the watermark to the PDF page, but I can't 
remember them offhand.  Perhaps others on the mailing list could offer 
suggestions.  These engines apply the stock DocBook XSL stylesheets to an 
uploaded file and return the results.

The PDF and RTF formats that you mention contain complete formatting 
information for rendering the content.  An XML file contains no formatting 
information, so that is why a document viewer is a non-trivial thing.  The 
formatting information has to come from a stylesheet.  Many browsers can 
apply a stylesheet to an XML file to format it.  But if your document 
doesn't reference a stylesheet, then the browser doesn't know where to get 
one by default.

A document can contain a reference to a stylesheet using a processing 
instruction as follows:

<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" 

If you put this line in your document (assuming it is XML and not SGML) and 
open it in Internet Explorer 6 or later (or other recent browsers), then IE 
will download the stylesheet and format it for you (HTML format in this 
case).  The online access to the stylesheet is slow, because the Docbook 
stylesheets contain many files that must be downloaded and opened, but it 
will work.

Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "rob" <ralarson@pacific.net>
To: <docbook@lists.oasis-open.org>
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2008 11:59 AM
Subject: [docbook] Simply viewing DB

>I came across a piece of free software documentation (and glad to  find any 
>documentation at all besides source code!) that from the  file extension is 
>SGML and from content of the first line is  apparently a DocBook document. 
>I tended to go cross-eyed, however,  when I tried to (human-) read the d___ 
>thing.  Firefox shows a giant,  undifferentiated and still partially 
>marked-up blob of text.
> Is there a simple way to view even a crudely formatted version of  such a 
> document without becoming a docbook weenie, learning new  languages, 
> installing 'tool chains' and 'envirionments', etc.?  If it  happened to 
> involve using an editor application, I could ignore that  bit, as long as 
> it is quick to download [on dialup :-(  ] and SIMPLE  to install.
> I spent a good portion of last evening fruitlessly skimming over  reams of 
> DB FAQs, beginners' guides and tutorials, searching for  'DocBook viewer', 
> etc., and for what it's worth, it seems to me that  the DB community is 
> doing a great deal of inward navel-gazing.
> This whole thing seems to be a sort of 'meta-document' movement  that's in 
> danger of losing perspective about what ought to be the  ultimate goal of 
> any documentation project: to inform people.  Has it  occurred to anyone 
> that DocBook files might fall into end-users'  laps?  Could it be a useful 
> format in its own right?  We don't expect  users of other formats to 
> become developers, installing preprocessors  for our .rtf or .pdf or 
> whatever files.  We fire up a widely  available application, and we JUST 
> Bit of a flame, eh?  Oh well...
> -Mrnatural
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