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Re: nwalsh and XML vs SGML [Fwd: First Open Source Documentation Summit at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention]

On Jul 19,  3:50pm, Gary Lawrence Murphy wrote:
> Subject: Re: nwalsh and XML vs SGML [Fwd: First Open Source
> >>>>> "G" == Greg Ferguson <gferg@hoop.timonium.sgi.com> writes:
>     G> .. the presentation aspects in ldp.dsl or any other
>     G> customized DSSSL stylesheet can be (or will need to be) carried
>     G> over into any kind of XSL implementation...unless we use some
>     G> default styles.
> Yes, but re-interpreted out of the functional-programming DSSSL idiom
> and expressed in the declarative XSL idiom.  It's the old "write two
> programs, throw the first away"

Ahh, the price of progress...:-}

>     G> There needs to be an underlying tranformation engine as
>     G> well. Whether openjade or something else, we would have to look
>     G> into that. For example, how would one create a pdf instance
>     G> from only an XML doc instance and a set of XSL styelsheets?
> That is the question I am frightened to ask ;) I believe it currently
> boils down to Xalan and something called xmltex but haven't the time
> to poke sticks at either.  It is true that the next generation of
> browsers will have XML support, but if you recall how long it took
> just to get stylesheets in all the browsers (and NS 4.73 is still
> hopelessly broken) don't hold your breath waiting for XML support.

Oh, don't worry, I won't! I've been preaching the same thing here
at our company.

> On top of that, a certain predatory company has already vowed to pervert
> that standard to discourage using any alternative browsers.

Gee, I find that hard to believe.

> Thus, for the forseeable future, the presentation formats will remail
> HTML, PDF and ASCII and, to my knowledge, there are no general tools
> for transforming docbookx to these formats via XSL --- if there are,
> someone please correct me.  From what I understand, we can still use
> openjade/opensp and DSSSL for the interim, but keep in mind that our
> DSL files are members of an endangered species.
> Norm's site and the DocBook Guide mention XML and XSL with examples,
> but only describe DSSSL in enough detail to actually lead to a printed
> page.  Add to this the general consensus that jadetex is the weakest
> link in our arguments for DocBook and it suggests a convergence to a
> crisis.  I'm only guessing, but perhaps it is time to hunt down that
> xmltex thing and re-write the book on sgmltools.

Here's an article on "DSSSL for XML: Why not?"


In theory we could go this route, with little impact
on the existing publishing environment.

and here are a set of Open-source XML projects/tools:


In particular, an open source (java) transformation
engine that creates PDF from XML doc:


Time to do some reading.


Greg Ferguson     - s/w engr / mtlhd         | gferg@sgi.com
SGI Tech Pubs     - http://techpubs.sgi.com  | 
Linux Doc Project - http://www.linuxdoc.org  |

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