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

>>>>> "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"

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

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.

Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@linux.ca>: office voice/fax: 01 519 4222723
TCI - Business Innovations through Open Source : http://www.teledyn.com
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