Re: Hacking (make element) in the DocBook stylesheets

Subject: Re: Hacking (make element) in the DocBook stylesheets
From: Norman Walsh <ndw@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 10:58:31 -0400
/ James Clark <jjc@xxxxxxxxxx> was heard to say:
| Hacking the stylesheet is the wrong way to solve that problem.

Yeah, I know.

| The reason the SGML backend does that is that if it doesn't add
| whitespace anywhere, the output would often have extremely long lines
| (sometimes the entire output would be a single line), but it doesn't
| know anything about the semantics of the output DTD, so it is only safe
| to add linebreaks inside tags.


| It would be easy to hack the SGML backend to add an option not to add
| any whitespace, or to otherwise customize the whitespace handlings.

But I think the current backend is doing the right thing for the
general case.  If I was going to hack an option into the
backend, I'd have to make it HTML-aware; I can add whitespace in
other places only because I know the semantics (ahem ;-) of HTML.

By putting this hack in the DocBook to HTML stylesheet, it would
be easy for other users to decide what semantics to impose.  And
fix the ones I get wrong ;-)

| Alternatively just run the output through a HTML pretty printer (like
| Dave Raggett's tidy).

I do that.  Usually.  But it's an extra step and sometimes I
forget.  And when I've just processed a <set> of books and
produced 1830 HTML files, it's a tad inconvenient.

Because I thought this _was_ the better answer, a few versions
ago I added an option to produce a "manifest" of the HTML files
created.  At least this gives a batch tool a place to start.

Norman Walsh <ndw@xxxxxxxxxx>      | All the labors of the ages, all                 | the devotion, all the inspiration,
                                   | all the noonday brightness of
                                   | human genius, are destined to
                                   | extinction--Bertrand Russell

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  • Hacking (make element) in the DocBook stylesheets
    • Norman Walsh - from mail1.ability.netby (8.8.5/8.6.12) with ESMTP id JAA18493Fri, 28 Aug 1998 09:15:03 -0400 (EDT)
      • James Clark - from mail1.ability.netby (8.8.5/8.6.12) with ESMTP id JAA19890Fri, 28 Aug 1998 09:33:51 -0400 (EDT)
        • Norman Walsh - from mail1.ability.netby (8.8.5/8.6.12) with ESMTP id LAA28112Fri, 28 Aug 1998 11:01:22 -0400 (EDT) <=