Re: [xsl] DocBook to plain text - what do you use?

Subject: Re: [xsl] DocBook to plain text - what do you use?
From: Paul DuBois <paul@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 07:47:57 -0500
On Wed, Jul 28, 2004 at 08:47:47AM +0200, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> On mar, 2004-07-27 at 23:23 -0500, Paul DuBois wrote:
> > The DocBook XSL stylesheets can produce FO, HTML, XHTML, ... but
> > I'm wondering: What's a good way to produce plain text?
> > 
> > My searches thus far turn up things like sgmltools-lite and docbook2X,
> > but I'm interested in XML DocBook, not SGML DocBook, and I prefer not
> > to use something that requires Jade or DSSSL.
> > 
> > One option is to use the DocBook stylesheets to produce HTML, then
> > run that through lynx -dump to generate plain text.  Are there other
> > useful approaches?  What do *you* do?
> If I had to do it once that'd be HTML + lynx -dump.
> For anything more repetitive I'd write a custom XSLT stylesheet -
> outputing plain text seems a lot easier than the transforms the current
> stylesheets do now.

I agree that it seems like it should be much easier.  That's one reason
I'm puzzled that such a thing doesn't seem to exist.

Is it just that no one is interested in producing plain text?  (For example,
to produce README files and such from a distribution's general DocBook
documentation sources?)  Or is the need little enough that lynx -dump
is good enough for people's purposes?

> Of course, that depends on your xslt experience and the time you can
> allocate. If you need a good control of the outputed text nothing will
> beat an XSL IMHO.

True, but naturally I had hoped to avoid writing such a thing myself. :-)

Maybe it'd be easier to write a transform to convert DocBook to atox
format and let atox handle it ...

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