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Re: alternative sgmltools?

>>>>> "G" == Gerard Beekmans <glb@dds.nl> writes:

    G> What I need is this: i need a simple program that converts sgml
    G> files to txt and html. Do I really need to have this 84MB texmf
    G> archive to start with?

SGML-tools is a publishing system for documentation, so it expects
you to have a certain level of interest in typesetting. It also expects
authors to have different needs from typesetters, and this is where
the sgml-tools product is failing you: If content and layout are truly
distinct, why should an author need a complete typesetting system?

Translating SGML/DocBook to txt can be easy as using sed to filter out
anything that occurs between angle brackets, or as complex as running
it through LaTeX and using a DVI->text translator to preserve as much
layout and font information as possible.  It's that last stage that
is frustrating you: To create any sort of printed edition, the process
depends on LaTeX for the layout.

There are alternatives to sgml-tools.  A very good one is openjade.  I
used openjade for several months but recently abandoned it because all
the available docbook documents only describe the sgml-tools programs
and I found it impossible to use openjade on my machines and
communicate effectively about configuration details with sgmltools

I would caution that sgmltools for DocBook 3.1 may not work if you use
the 'standard' tarball; you should grab the updated version from Norm
Walsh's site (which you can find at http://www.teledyn.com/help/XML

BUT DO NO DISPAIR:  Corel Office/9 (part of Office2000) apparently handles
DocBook DTD so you could use this to print.  Corel hasn't released a Linux
version yet, but with the soaring popularity of their Linux, it is only
a matter of time.  Also, since Sun Microsystems uses DocBook internally,
I expect a near-future version of StarOffice to also speak DocBook.

AbiWord may also follow suit. I have not heard back from their
developers, but their native file format is XML (DTD unknown) and
there are a few comments on their dev list archive to suggest they
have thought about making the file format conform to DocBook DTD.

Finally, LyX 1.1.3 now supports DocBook, but only as an export format.
You cannot import SGML and the facilities are very, very primative (no
attributes is the biggest problem) but it would allow you to produce
very simple DocBook documents while giving you easy means to generate
ascii and HTML (but still requires LaTeX to do the work)

Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@linux.ca>: office voice/fax: 01 519 4222723
TCI - Business Innovations through Open Source : http://www.teledyn.com
Canadian Co-ordinators for Bynari International : http://ca.bynari.net/
Moderator, Linux Education Group: http://www.egroups.com/group/linux-ed

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