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Re: SGML help needed

I spent most of this morning with a customer, a local senior who is
grappling with sorting out why Netscape calls "email" "messenger" and
wondering why search engines have so many buttons (I sent her to
Google) ...

>>>>> "H" == Hugo van der Kooij <Hugo.van.der.Kooij@caiw.nl> writes:

    H> You should check out the SGMLtools
    H> homepage. http://www.sgmltools.org/
    H> All answers are there.

I told her I may have a quarter century of experience, but I am in the
very same boat ;)  ... the answers may be there, but you can't say they
are obvious.  The obtuseness of the documents I've found so far is
refreshing (and humbling) --- Zen says something about "seeing the world
with new eyes" and this is exactly the state of my bewilderment 8)

For example, I eventually figured out how to run PSGML-mode and translated
my book outline to verifiable DocBook, but then stumbled trying to create
HTML --- the docs say to use a Jade command that doesn't work, and the
sgmltools site hides the db2html command script (with no mention of its
command parameters).

Anyway, I eventually (3am) figured out that "db2html -d mystyle.dsl
book.sgml" would create some HTML pages, and cloned the cygnus-both
style so I could change the background colour, but the pages are still
dead ugly, especially the title page.  I've started down the long
winding path to learn how to customize the Walsh stylesheets, but what
I really want to know is how to accomplish specific layout effects,
for example, to format <collab> and <author> tags into table columns
and rows so I can place the authors beside a graphic image (somewhat
like an Amazon or FatBrain page), or how to add headers and footers,
or how to wrap the output inside a page layout where I can put a menu
down the left, or ...

        (see http://nwalsh.com/docbook/dsssl/doc/custom.html for info
        on customizing stylesheets)

What I also need is a place to ask dumb questions about DocBook usage
and conventions, for example, how to place the author's email and
webpage in a <collab> (I put them under <address> but with horrible

I know DocBook can do all this stuff because in sifting through the online
docs, I see some beautiful examples of output --- it's too bad more sites
don't place the SGML source to their title page online as an example ;)

Looking back, though, I see I have graduated from basic content to
basic layout.  The dynamic demos in mozilla, however, still seem
lightyears away.

Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@canada.com>  TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Telecom Services : Internet Consulting : http://www.teledyn.com
Linux Writers Workshop Archive: http://www.egroups.com/group/linux-hack/
"You don't play what you know; you play what you hear." -- (Miles Davis)

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