Charles Engelke's Blog

July 10, 2003

Session: Transforming XML for Web and Print

Filed under: OSCON 2003 — Charles Engelke @ 7:58 pm

Michael Kruckenberg of Tufts University is going to talk about his
experience in getting lots of existing and new documentation all available
both on the web and on paper.

Why use XML? Well, it sounds good, so you can sell it to management.
But it’s also highly structured, and enables cross-document connections.
It’s standardized, multiplatform, multi-application. Lots of authoring
tools are available.

Prepare by defining a standard DTD or schema for your documents. Develop
templates for authoring, and research options for conversion.

Sorry, there won’t be many notes for this. There are no tables so it’s
hard to type, and I can’t see the slides because the speaker is blocking the
screen. Only very specific detailed points I want to keep will follow. In
any case, there is so much detail in doing this that I’d really need written
materials to do more than just get a general idea of what they are doing and
why I should be interested.

They use libxml2, libxslt, validate with xmllint and render into html
with xsltproc. For print, they use Apache’s FOP formatter, which does both
the XSLT transform and FO processing to generate a PDF.

Users often want the web version to look exactly like the PDF version,
but that’s not possible given the different technologies involved. For
print, be sure your fonts get put in your PDFs. FOP is slow, so generate
documents once, not on the fly.

Resources. HTML Tidy,
libxml2 and libsxlgt libraries,
XML::LibXML and XML::LibXSLT on CPAN, the
Apache FOP formatterand the O’Reilly XML
and XSLT books.


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