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Subject: Docbook for ePub and print versions?

I'm new to the list and to DocBook. I have posed this question on the Docutils list and received some excellent comments.

I have written a 500+ page textbook on assembly language using LaTeX. It has been used at my university and the local community college for several years. A few years ago Addison-Wesley reviewers liked the book but felt that the market isn't big enough, so I'm left with self publishing.

I have produced two pdf versions, one for double-sided printing, the other for eReader (no gutter, small margins). Students can buy a bound print version from the campus bookstore for $25 or download the eReader version free. Students tell me that even if the eReader version cost $25, they still prefer it.

The problem is that pdf is not well suited for eReaders, so I would like to create an ePub version in addition to a print version. The book has many figures (vector graphics), over 200 code listings, many cross references, etc. The equations are fairly simple (algebra). The LaTeX I've used is too complex to convert directly to HTML (for ePub). It's clear that I need to simplify the formatting for the ePub version.

Of course, I want to have only one source for the material. So I am looking for the best tool chain that will allow me to produce both an ePub and a pdf (for printing) from the same source. So far my choices seem to be:

1. Restructuredtext for the source, which would be processed with docutils.
I like the simplicity of Restructuredtext, but it seems to lack (at this time) good tools for automatically numbering figures, exercises, equations, etc.

2. DocBook for the source, which can produce both pdf and HTML.
I've heard that DocBook can be difficult to work with for complex documents.

3. LyX for the source, which can produce both pdf and HTML.
The conversion from LaTeX to LyX will be as difficult as 1 and 2, and it seems that all I get is a somewhat WYSIWIG interface to work with, at the expense of adding another layer.

As you can see from my comments, I'm leaning toward choice 2. I know that any of the choices will be lots of work for me. But I'm retired, and I enjoy doing this stuff. Also, my work may provide some input into the overall problem of creating technical eBooks.

I would very much appreciate hearing thoughts about my project from people who have used DocBook.

--Bob Plantz

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