Appendix E. DocBook, Styling and other issues

All things DocBook can be found at The DocBook Project. The basic DocBook reference is DocBook: The Definitive Guide.[321] While this book describes how to write DocBook, it does not describe how to generate output or how to vary the look, the term-of-art is style, of the generated output. A more gentle introduction can be found in Writing Documentation Using DocBook. Babase uses the Unix xmlto command, in conjunction with make to generate various DocBook output formats, to go into further detail is beyond the scope of this document. However, as altering the style of the DocBook output is something done rarely it is useful for the project to have some reference material on-hand as a guide when needed.

Those who wish to alter the style of the Babase documentation should start by reading the Makefile to see how xmlto is invoked. Follow this with an examination of the style sheet fragments supplied to xmlto. These files contain XSL, the Extensible Stylesheet Language, explained in What is XSL?. To make further sense of this see the reference material on styling DocBook. This is covered in DocBook XSL: The Complete Guide, Part II. Stylesheet options. Additional detail may be found in XSL Frequently Asked Questions, and its companion DocBook Frequently Asked Questions. The FO Parameter Reference is the comprehensive list of formatting customization variables. The XSL specifications are available from the W3C, The World Wide Web Consortium.

An overview of XML and where XSL fits in can be found at XML: The Big Picture.

[321] Be sure to read the edition that describes the version of DocBook you're using. This text was written for DocBook 4.3.

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