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AW: Writing a book in XML

  • From: "Harbarth, Juliane" <Juliane.Harbarth@s...>
  • To: <xml-dev@l...>
  • Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2007 10:35:04 +0100

AW:  Writing a book in XML
Hello again,

first of all, thanks for all the helpful and encouraging remarks. As
usual, it appeared that although I tried, my problem description did no
contain everything I should have said. 

Rick rightly pointed out that "writing a book in XML" is not a very
sensible idea in itself. What I had in mind here was to use a
proprietary format (a small mixture between XHTML and DocBook) I once
made up for experimenting purposes and used ever since. With this goes
an XSLT 2.0 stylesheet that nicely displays this using Saxon. In the
back of my mind I always wanted to use this, since lots of material that
should go into the 'book' is already in that format. I played with the
idea of using DocBook to buy me some kind of fragmentation support. From
the answers I learnt that XInclude is the mechanism of choice and nicely
supported with DocBook. But using DocBook and using XInclude should be
somehow orthogonal thus when DocBook does it (and nicely describes how
it does it, too) I shall have a chance to use XInclude together with my
proprietary format, also. And using Saxon to display the whole thing
anyhow and Saxon supporting XInclude it should be possible to do
assembly and transformation in one go.

So my plan is as follows:
1. Assemble a first preliminary book as one XML file and check that the
stylesheet nicely renders it.
2. Hack it into pieces (forming a tree if possible) and connect them
using XInclude. 
3. Try to make Saxon render it as in step 1.
4. Try to enhance the corresponding schema in order to allow validation
of those fragments allowed, i.e. <chapter> and <section> elements. I
don't exactly know what that means, it might well be, the schema is
already fit for that.
5. Check that validation works with both the whole thing and the pieces.
6. Set up a SVN repository and load the hopefully tree-like 'book'.
7. Open the repository for the co-authors to-be and publish the schema,
so that they have a chance of validating their bits.
8. On a routine base run the assemble-and-transform task and publish the

Thanks again & have a nice day,
Software AG - Sitz/Registered office: Uhlandstra?e 12, 64297 Darmstadt, Germany, - Registergericht/Commercial register: Darmstadt HRB 1562 - Vorstand/ Management Board: Karl-Heinz Streibich (Vorsitzender/Chairman), David Broadbent, Mark Edwards, Dr. Peter Kurpick, David Mitchell, Arnd Zinnhardt; - Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender/ Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Frank F. Beelitz - http://www.softwareag.com

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