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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: Documentv20 --> DocBook
Date Tue, 30 Dec 2003 14:04:28 GMT
Peter Hargreaves wrote:
>>All we are proposing is moving from our existing proprietary docbook DTD 
>>to a subset of the much more widely available, used and accepted XHTML.
>>Currently XML > XDOC > PDF works just fine, what will change if we go to 
> Now that penny that I think has dropped!
> I think you are saying that the Forrest XHTML intermediate stage
> represents a media independent presention layer. So, in the case of
> something written in DocBook - it is transformed into XHTML - as was
> understood. Although something written in DocBook (or other source)
> should be free of presentational information, the transformation to
> XHTML necessarily makes decisions about presentation. In other words,
> the transformation aims to add presentational information, but in a
> media independent way. Have I got it?

Yes, or at least that is exactly how I understand it to be.

> I'll assume I'm now understanding the XHTML strategy better. I think
> you've made it clear that Forrest XHTML is not he same as XHTML. But why
> not? Is it because XHTML is not what it sets out to be? Is it because of
> the clumsy implications of css? To what degree is it possible to have
> media independent presentational instructions? Perhaps just for a subset
> of devices? I have reservations, I don't know.

It is still XHTML because XHTML is designed to be modular. If you don't 
need some part of XHTML then don't use that module. XHTML does have the 
limitation of having to be backward compatible with HTML so some of the 
modules are not as media independant as Forrest needs.

> So, I can now see that Forrest must pursue its FXHTML ambition (F as in
> Forrest I hastily add ;-). And I must discard my DocBook style sheets
> and instead write DocBook > FXHTML transformations.

I believe this is the best route, yes. This is because other people will 
be writing docbook -> XHTML and so you can assist with that effort but 
focus mainly on your individual skin to control the final presentation. 
It should make your life much simpler. Note, there is already a docbook 
--> xdoc stylesheet, not complete yet but a good start.


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