RTF & Tex from one style-sheet [was: Re: An open challenge: HTML 4.0 tables]

Subject: RTF & Tex from one style-sheet [was: Re: An open challenge: HTML 4.0 tables]
From: Vivek Agrawala <vivek@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 12:40:15 -0400
Stephen J. Tinney wrote:

> This raises a question that has been on my mind for a while.  When I
> first heard about DSSSL I (naively) assumed that here was a tool that
> would allow one to make many different kinds of output with a single
> style sheet, perhaps just by specifying a different output type on
> the command line.
> It seems that most people do not use it this way; does anybody?  Are there
> any evolving best strategies for making a style sheet that can generate
> html or rtf or tex with no changes to source or style sheet?

The DSSSL style language wasn't designed for generating SGML/XML/HTML.
The transformation language of DSSSL is meant for that.

A DSSSL style-sheet specifies the creation of a Flow Object Tree, which
is a platform-neutral representation of the document's "presentation".
In Jade, the different backends convert the Flow Object Tree to
forms like RTF, Tex, MIF (work in progress).  Ideally, it should
be possible to produce RTF, Tex & MIF from the same style-sheet.
I am not sure how well this works in practice.

But generating HTML/XML/SGML requires a special kind of style-sheet.
Jade implements some extensions for this purpose, and they are not
part of standard DSSSL (yet?).

-- Vivek Agrawala, Ph.D.
Siemens Corporate Research, Inc.	email: vivek@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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