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on October 14, 2003
This book needs to be beside the computer (and I do mean RIGHT beside) anyone who is attempting to support or modify docbook applications for the first time. Do that, and you may just be able to put away the extra strength excedrin. Without it, you might have a few problems......
Here's why:
Last year, I had the pleasure of implementing docbook for a large company down in Oklahoma. However, I didn't know much about XSL at the time or for that matter docbook; other than how to markup documents and make changes to the DTD. In other words I was a rookie. I had two tools at my disposal; the definative guide and docbook documentation. Any developer would understand what a rookie who is trying to muddle through docbook documentation is trying to go through..... I had a bit of consulting from Arbortext but other than that I was on my own. The definitive guide has very little information on publishing XML information and barely even mentions XSL. Thus, my modifications consisted of looking at existing code and attempting a patch job. Even with the training I'd had on XSLT it did not help me to find files that I didn't know existed. This book solves that problem and gets you off the ground running.
While the book is NOT a tututorial on XSL is does give a brief overview on the subject. This book talks about implementing XSL in a docbook environment as there are plenty of books in the market that teach you how to code XSL. An understanding of XML is expected and knowledge of docbook is certainly helpful. Topics covered include how to find docbooks XSL stylesheets (or obtain them for free, if you don't already have them)and tells you how to set them up, customize them for your environment, use special stylesheet output features and work with docbook options.
In short, if you need to learn how to implement XSL in a docbook environment; get this book in your hands and don't let it go. It's too valuable a commodity!
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on June 1, 2004
I purchased that book as soon as it came out: I just knew I'd need it some day. That day came three weeks ago and I got into the book with a vengeance. I needed to utterly customize the docbooks stylesheets and produce 12'000 different pdf's in four languages out of a huge documentation DB. With the book next to me it was a breeze. Extremely well written, knowledgeable, accurate, just verbose enough to get the point across and and and.
Beware: this is a book for people who are already very well versed in docbook in general, and in XSL in particular.
One does wish the author would have offered ant versions of his scripts as well as Make versions. But that's a matter of taste.
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