[xml/sgml-pkgs] Re: [xml/sgml] db2latex-xsl and alternatives for
DocBook XML to PDF
mrj at debian.org
Sat Oct 22 21:21:38 UTC 2005
Andreas Hoenen wrote:
> From: Mark Johnson <mrj at debian.org>
> Subject: Re: [xml/sgml] db2latex-xsl and alternatives for DocBook XML to PDF
> Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2005 00:43:44 -0400
>>>- dblatex (not yet in Debian, uses Perl :-( and XSL, active
>>> upstream, XSL parts seem to be based on db2latex-xsl, maybe
>>> not buildable from sources)
>>Have heard of some reasonable output from dblatex, but tha it still
>>needs much work and requires much tweaking. Not well-enough informed
>>(i.e. haven't tested it) to offer any sprt of authoritative opinion.
>>>Shall we package dblatex?
>>I dunno. Ditto above.
>>Call me old-school, but I prefer xsl-fo -> pdf tools that only require
>>modification/customization of the the xsl-fo files (which are XML),
>>rather than having to use TeX-based customization. But that's only my
>>$0.02 - we should let the users decide...
> I'd like to advocate the dblatex solution:
You've certainly convinced me that dblatex should be packaged - the fact
that the KDE project wants to use it for their docs is a strong statement.
Now if we can only find a volunteer to maintain the package...
> The most important point to me is that is under active development. One can
> tell the developer (it seems to be quite a small team) about a problem, and
> normally he will supply one with a patch in a very short time. Also the release
> cycles are quite short, about once a month for the last three releases. As each
> project always needs continuous maintenance and improvement, this can not be
> If you want to get an own impression of the project's vitality, just take a look
> at the project's mailing list archive:
> I think dblatex will gain some popularity as the KDE project seems to want using
> it for the pdf output of its documentation.
> Maybe in the past it has been a little tricky to install dblatex on a Debian
> system, as the LaTeX file 'bibtopic.sty' was neither included in Debian nor in
> dblatex, thus one had to fetch it manually somewhere from the internet (not such
> a big problem with Google, anyway). But since the previous dblatex release
> 0.1.6 it is included in dblatex, thus one does not need anything besides the
> Debian Perl and LaTex packages to get dblatex installed on a Debian system.
> Okay, in difference to db2latex dblatex is not a pure XSLT solution, but uses
> some Perl code for post-processing; but as this is hidden from the end user, it
> does not complicate the tool's use. I like to consider the usage of Perl as
> pragmatical, even if it's not theoretically "pure". Actually it is one of the
> goals of dblatex to hide as much as possible of the underlying toolchain's
> complexity from the end user, in many cases it's not more than a 'dblatex
> document.xml' to produce 'document.pdf'.
> And for the usage of TeX as the intermediate format between DocBook and pdf
> instead of XSL-FO: at least TeX is a well known, stable typesetting language of
> high quality (even if it's quite old and somehow obscure), thus one could
> consider this as an advantage rather than a disadvantage.
> To summarize: IMHO dblatex is one interesting solution for transforming DocBook
> into pdf, and as a quite enthusiastic Debian user I would be pleased to see it
> packaged into Debian. Do not understand this as bashing of other solutions: the
> more open source ways there are to get this task done, the better.
> Regards, Andreas Hoenen
Mark Johnson <mrj at debian.org>
Debian XML/SGML: <http://debian-xml-sgml.alioth.debian.org>
Home Page: <http://linux.duke.edu/~mark/>
GPG fp: DBEA FA3C C46A 70B5 F120 568B 89D5 4F61 C07D E242
More information about the debian-xml-sgml-pkgs