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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: Docbook as forrest-plugin
Date Wed, 27 Oct 2004 13:06:14 GMT
Sean Wheller wrote:
> 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.


> Yes [partial agreement with above statement, not complete as my editing implies]. 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.

Plugin dependencies? Ughhhh!!!

(yes there may be a good use case for them at some point in the future, 
but I don't believe this is it - the intermediate format provides a 
consistent horizontal integration without creating dependencies between 

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

This is *exactly* what we have been saying all along...

First by me (in the context of this thread - not in terms of originating 

Then by Dave (I think, can't find the post in the archive)

Then by Nicola Ken:

And in multiple points throughout this thread (note to self - I must 
find a way of explaining this much more clearly)

> 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.

Configurability is good.

Does this mean we have reached an agreement :-))

>>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.

I'll have to take you word for it. If you can make Docbook produced 
PDF's look *exactly* like those generated by skins *and* still maintain 
functionality like wholesite.pdf *and* not require skin writers to edit 
anything in the plugin then *maybe* this is a good solution. I'm afraid 
I'd have to see it though.

I *know* the intermediate format works (we are using it already) - that 
is where my energies will go until you show me the way ;-)

>>>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?

You are right, that's a whole new topic. Lets get this stage 1 done, but 
please do come back to this I am extremely interested in anything we can 
do here. I have a slightly different approach to what you appear to be 
proposing, but I have not written an RT on it yet so it is currently 
wide open.


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