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From Donald_Les...@lotus.com
Subject Re: website++
Date Thu, 01 Nov 2001 19:19:41 GMT

As a writer on the Xalan sub-project, I am worried about the potential
problems of adapting to a new XML doctype with no transition.

Before we abandon the original xml.apache.org XML doctypes (book, s1, faqs,
etc.) in place of DocBook or any other document type, I think we should
create the stylesheets to transform our current doctypes into the desired
HTML output. We certainly don't need to continue to use StyleBook (a tool,
not a set of doctypes), since it is poorly documented and maintained. Given
when it was written (over 2 years ago) it is inefficient (DOM-, not
SAX-oriented) in its use of Xalan, and everyone appears to want to get away
from the graphics that it is currently configured (given the stylesheets in
xml-site/style) to generate. It does package up the generation of an HTML
"book," but Xalan can do the same on its own with its
org.apache.xalan.lib.PipeDocument extension element, which allows a base
stylesheet to generate a TOC from a book document, and to oversee the use
of other stylesheets to transform each source document (s1, faqs, etc.) to

If someone finds it convenient to first transform the original doctypes to
DocBook, and then from DocBook to HTML, fine! Those who are ready to move
to DocBook for managing their XML sources can do so, and cut out the first
transformation step in generating HTML. Others can continue to update the
original documents without worrying about mastering DocBook all at once.

I have a procedure in place for transforming the book/s1/faqs doctypes to
DITA XML and from DITA to HTML and PDF, so I know what I speak of above is
manageable. For those who are interested in DITA, a highly modular and
extensible doctype architecture that supports a really neat inheritance
scheme for specializing <topic>s, see
http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/library/x-dita1/index.html and

-- Don Leslie

Edwin Goei <edwingo@sun.com> on 10/29/2001 09:06:30 PM

Please respond to general@xml.apache.org

To:   general@xml.apache.org
cc:    (bcc: Donald Leslie/CAM/Lotus)

Subject:  Re: website++

"Theodore W. Leung" wrote:
> I've done some minimal playing around with the top level website in
> xml-site, and have modified the styles to get rid of all the images.  A
> version of the top level site using this style is viewable at
> http://www.apache.org/~twl/new-site/index.html

Looks good.  So I'm not sure I understand.  What are you using to
generate that page?  Cocoon2?

> If people think that this is a good direction, then I'll keep working to
> finalize a simple style before tackling docbook.

Yeah, I think it's a good direction.  As for style, I see these options
for the source XML schema:

  + docbook = may be too complicated
  + simplified docbook = may not be familiar to most
  + xhtml = familiar to most, but may not be expressive enough
  + stylebook.dtd = not widely used

When I had to decide on one of these options a while ago, I chose xhtml
b/c it was familiar and I though that I could always transform it to
something else later, but it turns out that there might not be enough
info in the source to do that w/o hand tweaking the result.

> Note:  I am not a photoshop / image wizard, so the image bar at the top
> still looks ugly.   Suggestions on what to do up there are more than
> welcome.

I'm not much of an artist so I can't help here. :-)

Thanks for taking this on.  I know this has been discussed lots of times
in the past, but it seems to always get dropped b/c no one actually
works on it.


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