Generating high-level formatting output

Subject: Generating high-level formatting output
From: Norman Gray <norman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 11:14:56 +0100 (GMT)

On Thu, 10 Jun 1999, Nik Clayton wrote:
> >From our point of view, the killer missing feature from our current
> toolbox is a way to go from DocBook to *roff.  A colleague, Chuck 

I've spent a little time thinking about this (but unfortunately no
more than that).  I recently produced a simple back-end which would
help produce high-level LaTeX (ie \section, \emph, rather than a TeX
representation of the FOT).  The weakness of this is that it
encourages you to revert to the bad-old-days of one stylesheet per
output format.

A better way, and one I might return to if I decide we need 'roff output,
would be to do the `print formatting' step as a transformation from
the document DTD to some DTD oriented towards high-level formatting,
then further transform that to LaTeX, 'roff, or whatever using a simple
transforming step which, because it wouldn't have to do any rearrangement
or numbering or anything clever, would be a doddle to write (maybe
even awk would be enough!).

The output DTD could be something simple like:

<div level="1"><title>Section title</title>
<para>Here is some <span type="emph">emphasised</span> text.

with obvious edits to turn it into LaTeX or 'roff.  Does anyone know
if such a DTD already exists?  I vaguely remember that the LinuxDoc
DTDs were more-or-less a translation of LaTeX structures into SGML --
is that right?

With that developed, and a suitable set of output elements identified,
the next step could be to designate these as DSSSL-type FOs, and
support them directly in back-ends.

Does that make any sense?

All the best,


Norman Gray              
Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK     norman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 DSSSList info and archive:

Current Thread