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Re: Debian Installer Manual structure and build tools

On Mar 01, 2005 at 04:20:08PM +0100, Frans Pop wrote:
> We are not completely happy with the current PDF files. For one we can 
> only really build langs that use Western encodings. Russian works, but is 
> not very pretty; Japanese and Greek are currently not possible.
> Nikolai Prokoschenko has done a lot of work on improving db2latex for use 
> with the manual.

A quick comment on this:

I've looked into a lot of places to find an easy way to generate PDFs from
DocBook-XML. It seems that LaTeX is the only way to get good print quality
using only free tools and db2latex-xsl is the way to convert DocBook-XML
to LaTeX. However, it is currently not DocBook-compliant, i.e. it fails
the current Docbook test suite (and quite badly I'm afraid).

There is another effort - dblatex, which uses XSL as well as Perl, it does
a better job at compliance, but it's pretty young and I personally don't
like the idea of "XSL is too hard for this and that, let's do Perl there".
I've already patched db2latex-xsl to support tables with spanning rows,
it's nasty to hack ;)

So in fact, db2latex-xsl has to be extended to support full Docbook (or a
necessary subset of it) and also become more configurable than it is now
(well, it is quite configurable at the moment, but I guess more is

Another problem we'll face is the extremely poor non-latin LaTeX support.
Every TeX hacker seems to create his own ways to typeset his language,
without ensuring compatibility with the other languages. So, I couldn't
mix Greek and English in LaTeX yet. I guess, your experience with Debian
Reference and its LaTeX conversion could be used here ;)

And the last but not least: Fonts. To be solved for every language


Nikolai Prokoschenko 
nikolai@prokoschenko.de / Jabber: pronik@jabber.org

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