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From Sean Wheller <>
Subject Re: Docbook as forrest-plugin
Date Wed, 27 Oct 2004 12:13:43 GMT
On Wednesday 27 October 2004 13:36, Ross Gardler wrote:
> Sean Wheller wrote:
> > On Wednesday 27 October 2004 12:01, Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
> >>It looks like a picture about how Forrest works today along with the
> >>plugin system that is being developed.
> >
> > Yes, except most processing is done by external stylesheets.
> This is the only difference between the way we currently do things, but
> I see a very big drawback - it breaks the (existing) skinning system.

Only for FO. The rest is as Forrest does it today and supports full capability 
of the source package.

> You are doing the skinning in the plugin, so each plugin must have a set
> of stylesheets for skinning. I would be -1 for this unless you can
> devise a way of skinning all the plugins in one go without demanding
> that skin authors write code for every single plugin in existence
> (already we have 4 and that's just what I've done).

Yes. What we're doing now is stage 1. With a working version, we will have a 
prototype to experiment with. I have not thought this through, but after 
Ricks message I got to thinking horizontally across plugins. I see that it 
may be possible to pipe between plugins. If so then the natural thing is to 
move directly between source formats in the direction of the most robust and 
then pipe XHTML to forrest. This has the effect of directing the output under 
a common stylesheet.

Thinking vertical. Another method, is to transform XHTML2FO. There are a few 
of these emerging. I have not tested any.

I think this will be the most direct method to achieving the common result 
Forrest demands. However, I would like to retain the ability to switch this 
default off, especially if the whole site uses Docbook, DITA, or TEI.

> I already asked if the Docbook stylesheets are configurable enough to do
> this *and* maintain functionality like wholesite.pdf (which incidentally
> is another step *after* the intermediate format.

Yes, you can overwrite what every you like in the custom layer.

> > 2. We can define consistant look and feel in the FO skin. As we get
> > further we will perhaps have to find an even easier method of maintaining
> > a common cust layer for all FO transformations, not just Docbook, and
> > manage that in one place.
> Please explain how this would work.

See ramblings above.

> > 4. Source can be managed under a Document Management System (DMS) and
> > output to Forrest in accordance with the "workflow" of the DMS.
> Please expand (I've just bid on a contract that will use Forrest in such
> a way - I'm *very* interested in this particular comment)

Whew!! That's another essay.
Should we discuss it here?

> > 1. The Docbook is heavy. It may not be well suited to "servlet."
> One of the key reasons why it was not adopted in the first place.

Yet on my LAN it is not bad :-) B'sides "servlet" is not the only option. 
Static is just as good when you have a full system with DMS and Content 
Management System (CMS.)


Sean Wheller
Technical Author

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