formatting tools for Docbook

Chuck Robey chuckr at
Fri Jun 16 16:20:32 UTC 2006

Bob Johnson wrote:

> On 6/15/06, Chuck Robey <chuckr at> wrote:
>> Greg Barniskis wrote:
>> > Chuck Robey wrote:
>> >
>> docs, because then no one else would be able to use my documents.  Am I
>> wrong in considering the FDP generated documentation as being in that
>> category, not terribly uselful outside the FreeBSD project.
> I believe you are wrong, or I misunderstand the question.
> I haven't used XML DocBook, but I've used DocBook with DSSSL.  I
> assume what you are really asking is not whether the FreeBSD
> extensions to the DocBook markup language are a problem (they aren't),
> but whether the stylesheets used by FreeBSD are compatible with those
> on other systems.  They are (or they claim to be, as I said I haven't
> actually used the XML/XSL tools yet).
Look, how come you won't follow politely formed requests?  I've asked 
now repeatedly, if you haven't yourself used the XML Docbook tools (not 
just Docbook, not just your own private mission statement here) then 
please to let this go, not to respond.  I wrote that same request to my 
very first email.  How come you can't react politely to a polite request?

In private mail, you have tried to tell  me that Docbook-xml didn't 
exist, and that FDP referred to the FreeBSD Development Project, not the 
FreeBSD Documentation Project.  Aren't you being just a little bit 
juvenile here?  Your own mail shows you know that Docbook-xml exists, 
and all you need to do is to look at the FreeBSD 
ports/textproc/docbook-xml-* ports to see what I mean (if you really 
don't know this).  Especially if you are innocently ignorant of XML, 
then you are the sort of person I did not wwant to have respnd at all.

Please, please, let this go, it's not your thread, and I dont' want to 
use your tools!

If you respond again, I won't answer you anymore.  I will just let this 
thread go entirely.  I'm sure the rest of this list is quite fed up with 
this by now.

> To clarify: the real issue for me, and probably what you are really
> referring to, is that the output format is not defined by the DocBook
> markup, but by the stylesheets (or equivalent) in the tool set used to
> produce the output.  That's both the advantage and disadvantage of
> Docbook (and SGML in general).  If you want strict control of the
> output format, then you run into the problem of a standard stylesheet
> format so you can also distribute your stylesheets along with your
> marked up documents.  DSSSL stylesheets are an incredible pain to
> modify, and I sympathize with your desire to avoid them.  XSL
> stylesheets are becoming a widely accepted standard, so that's the way
> to go, and since they are pretty much a standard, the details of what
> tools you use to do your document rendering shouldn't matter.
> If you need to modify the "standard" XSL stylesheets to meet your
> needs, just distribute the modified stylesheets along with your marked
> up documents and that should allow the person at the other end to
> duplicate your output.  The FreeBSD XML DocBook tool set claims to use
> XSL stylesheets, so as I said, the answer to your question should be
> "no, the tools are not FreeBSD specific".
> Is that explanation helping at all, or am I way off track?  And have I
> said anything that is just flat wrong?
> You may also want to look at
> if you haven't
> already.
> - Bob
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