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LinuxFocus: Making PDF documents with DocBook

May 07, 2000, 05:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Egon Willighagen)

"This article describes how you can use DocBook to develop PDF documents and will cover tools you need to edit DocBook articles and tools to translate them to PDF documents. ...this article only names the software tools you need and does not tell how to install them... The first part of this article will focus on the format of DocBook documents. When DocBook is introduced, i will try to explain what tools are needed to convert these DocBook documents to PDF documents which can be viewed with Acrobat."

"DocBook is an SGML application developed to markup documents, just like HTML marks up web documents. In contrast to HTML, DocBook offers no information on the layout of the document. That is the reason why DocBook documents need to be converted to other formats before they can be viewed. Conversion to other formats is done by tools which apply a certain stylesheet to the DocBook document."

"DocBook is in principle a SGML application, just like HTML. But there is also an XML version of DocBook. The XML version is more strict, but easier to read and therefore to easier learn. Since XML itself is also an SGML application, all SGML tools can still be used. The main difference between the SGML and XML variant are the following (and this holds for every XML application):

  • XML elements must always be closed
  • XML elements must be nested properly
This means that you cannot use <BR> as in HTML, but must use <BR></BR>. The second requirement means that you cannot write <B><A HREF="some_url">click here</B></A> but must nest the elements properly: <B><A HREF="some_url">click here</A></B>."

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