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From Rick Tessner <>
Subject Re: Docbook as forrest-plugin
Date Tue, 26 Oct 2004 23:24:59 GMT
<snip what="lots of stuff some of which may be relavent"/>

Sean Wheller wrote:
> On Tuesday 26 October 2004 20:25, Ross Gardler wrote:

>>However, do you now understand why we have the intermediate format?
>>Recall my mail about having to create multiple stylesheets to support
>>multiple input/output combinations. With the intermediate format there
>>is only one for each input format and one for each output format.
> Well. Speaking personally, I am more in favor of having a system that works 
> 100% than having to suffice with a system that works 20% - 70%, depending on 
> the source formats.
> I understand why people want "intermediate format," but this is not a true 
> solution. It's a work around to get something working. Forrest is now past 
> 0.6 and needs to "grow-up." Sorry if that sounds bad, but I mean it with good 
> intentions. The best route is XHTML. That mean XHTML1 for now.
> Forrest tries to take lots of responsability upon itself. While this is 
> admirable, it does not always result in the best and most flexible solution. 
> I think that the future for Forrest is good if the project can read in 
> standard formats.
> The number of formats is endless.  Already, the number of stylesheets 
> supporting conversion to another format are growing in number. They don't all 
> implement a full support for the target format. In addition, Forrest must 
> develop them while the sources of these formats are always changing. That's 
> an impossible task.
> IMHO it is better to harness the power the community (I mean other projects) 
> than to do it ourselves. We just need to define the format we accept, as 
> yourself and others have said, this means HTML or XHTML (1,2). I am in favor 
> of the later and I have no doubt that the Docbook community will develop 
> stylesheets for XHTML2.0 and the will when the "Longhorn Help System" is 
> released.
> I don't believe the power of forrest is in transformation to all formats. I 
> think it is in providing a publishing system that can accept input from the 
> numerous source formats out their and make it accessible. 

Hi all,

This has been a huge thread to get through and I think I may see what 
Sean is saying.  Sean, if I'm wrong, please feel free to jump in and 
correct me!

Right now, we seem to be stuck on this idea of the intermediate format 
which I think we're all agreed we need in order to be able to present a 
consistent look and feel.  Currently, that format is document-v12 and in 
the future will be a subset of XHTML 1.0 or 2.0.

What if the intermediate format was instead an intermediate pipeline of 
Docbook -> XHTML?  Anyone desiring to use a new input format within 
Forrest would produce XML which conforms to a format in the intermediate 

We would be able to leverage all the work that has been done in the 
Docbook community in transforming to XHTML (and XSL:FO).

With Docbook's modular style, we should still be able to layer whatever 
bits are necessary on top of the XHTML produced by Docbook to take care 
of the stylings.  Ditto with the XSL:FO.

Any existing XSL that people have which transform into XHTML (or HTML 4) 
would still work within the pipeline.


I do have a couple of concerns tho:

1.  I used Docbook a few years back and the performance was not a
     wonderous thing due to all the imports / includes that were
     necessary as part of its modular design.  Might not be the
     best for a servlet based Forrest site.
2.  What about the wholesite.pdf / wholesite.html / tabs-as-pdf bits?
     I don't have a good enough feel for Forrest yet as to what would
     happen here.

IT Firefighting and Prevention

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