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Re: XSLT workflow: ODF <-> XPP

Subject: Re: XSLT workflow: ODF <-> XPP
From: "Matthew L. Avizinis" <mla@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 27 May 2009 20:27:56 -0400
Re:  XSLT workflow: ODF <-> XPP
Hello Martynas,
I may be going out on a limb to ask this, but is it necessary to have
XPP in the process at all?
For instance, since the source is ODF why not use the OpenOffice pdf
print functions or the PDFCreator printer driver to create pdf files? 
Then you wouldn't need XSLT at all and save a few steps.  It's difficult
to say without knowing more about the whole process.  At any rate, I've
used ODF as source material and used the OpenOffice internal xslt
processor to transform documents into other xml formats than those
already available as OOo output formats.
Peace,
Matthew Avizinis
Gleim Publications, Inc.

Martynas Jusevicius wrote:
> Hey list,
>
> this is more of a general question about XSLT workflow than a specific
> task or technique.
>
> I'm helping out with XML at one publishing house. They are using ODF
> (OpenDocument) as a manuscript source format (received from customers)
> and XPP (XML Professional Publisher) as their internal format, on
> which they later add some specific XPP markup to style books (and
> later produce PDFs).
>
> The problem is, that the two formats are not interchangeable, and this
> breaks the whole workflow. They have a filter to import ODF to XPP
> (the easy part). They also have another to convert back from XPP to
> ODF, but it discards XPP processing instructions that were added while
> styling. That means a roundtrip is not possible, because the existing
> inline XPP styling would be lost.
>
> However both file formats are necessary, because they are using ODF to
> transform to XHTML and ePub, and XPP to produce PDF.
> The files also need to be up-to-date and synchronized, which currently
> is not the case. If the customer wants to make changes to the
> manuscript, it cannot be reimported. On the other hand, corrections
> can also be made in XPP.
>
> The transformations are currently done using Perl, but I'm thinking
> about converting the whole workflow to XSLT.
>
> I see XPP as the source of the problem, because of its inline styling
> and use of processing instructions. I don't know the system so well,
> but maybe it would be possible to somehow separate content from
> presentation there, in a similar fashion as with XHTML and CSS. Then
> it might be possible to do ODF-XPP-ODF conversions on the content
> only, while the styling would remain in XPP. But that would also mean
> changing the way they style, and would need to base it more on IDs and
> classes, which I'm not sure if it is possible to retain (and prevent
> from removing) in OpenOffice.
>
> And taking it one step further, if that would be solved, the customer
> and the publisher would still need to work on the same ODF file
> sometimes. Maybe some version control could help? Or is it crazy to
> think about manuscripts as source code?
>
> Any experience/advice with something like that? Appreciated in advanced.
>
> Martynas
> xml.lt

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