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Re: [xsl] xsl-fo and professional publishing

Subject: Re: [xsl] xsl-fo and professional publishing
From: "Liam R E Quin liam@xxxxxx" <xsl-list-service@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2014 20:48:33 -0000

On Fri, 2014-06-13 at 13:10 +0000, jfrm.maurel@xxxxxxxxx
jfrm.maurel@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
> Hi,
> I wonder whether xml + xsl + xsl-fo is a current practise in 
> professional publishing for technical books at least in Europe.

To give a counterpoint to Eliot's response, XSL-FO is very, very widely
used in professional publishing; the largest publishers use XSL-FO (and
in some cases XHTML + CSS) for most of their fiction and mainstream

There are relatively few publishers using it, but between them they
produce most of the books you see - although there's much more diversity
in Europe than in the USA in that regard.

The reasons are (1) they need to produce lots of books that look
similar; (2) they need to produce ebooks in XHTML, not just PDF (e.g.
for Kindle); (3) they need to minimise hand-work.

Viable alternatives for a single book include Scribus (open source),
XHTML + CSS (but the formatters that are good enough are expensive and
for technical work there are severe limitations; however, that's what
O'Reilly is now doing), Adobe InDesign or Framemaker, and many other
tools. It's *possible* to use MS Word, but you need a lot of discipline,
and at the end of the process making an ebook will be a pain although
there are products to help.

There's even at least one course taught on using XSL-FO for publishers,
at the Stuttgart media centre.


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
Ankh: irc.sorcery.net irc.gnome.org freenode/#xml

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