LinuxFocus: Making PDF documents with DocBook

“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

“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


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