application idea

Subject: application idea
From: Chuck Robey <chuckr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 00:15:06 -0400 (EDT)
I want to see if a possible application might be possible using XML,
XSL, and (maybe) CSS, before I put too much extra work into this.  I'd
really appreciate a comment or two.  I've only been reading this list
for a couple days now, so I'm not terribly familiar with your limits on
topics; if this is too far off-topic, a polite word to that effect would
stop me, because spamming you with off-topic messages is the furhtest
thing from my mind.

My goal is to be able to write one document, and have it be able to be
directly available in 3 different formats, which are html, straight
ASCII, and postscript.  My actual first target is the FreeBSD handbook,
but I will not limit it to that, really.

This application is currently being accomplished with DocBook, Jade, and
TeX, but the drawback here is TeX.  TeX is very large, and so it's
absolutely NOT a candidate for inclusion in the FreeBSD base system.  I
would very much like to be able to produce groff markup, because groff
produces very fine ASCII text along with postscript, and is already a
part of the FreeBSD base system (to produce the "man" online manual

What I would like to ask is, would it be possible, using the DocBook
(which is already available in XML), and a custom written XSL script, to
have html or groff markup (the same groff markup works for postscript or
ASCII), and have the original markup be totally deleted?

If this requires me to write an XML parser, that's ok, if it fits the
XML/XSL model.  Would I need CSS at all?  I note that James Clark has
written expat, a limited XML parser, but in looking at it, I think I
would have to write my own, because of expat's missing error handling,
and lack of DTD parsing.  Am I correct in this?

I want to use only C or C++ (Java is not in the base system, and not
likely to be due to it's large size).

Thanks for any comments.

Chuck Robey                 | Interests include any kind of voice or data 
chuckr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx       | communications topic, C programming, and Unix.
213 Lakeside Drive Apt T-1  |
Greenbelt, MD 20770         | I run picnic (FreeBSD-current)
(301) 220-2114              | and jaunt (Solaris7).

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