Re: Publishing / typesetting print documentation in HTML + CSS (+JS)

Subject: Re: Publishing / typesetting print documentation in HTML + CSS (+JS)
From: Richard L Hamilton <dick -at- rlhamilton -dot- net>
To: Jimmy Breck-McKye <jb527 -at- hotmail -dot- co -dot- uk>
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2011 16:37:12 -0700

Jimmy,

Looking again at your message, I would suggest that you look closely at what's available with the DocBook and DITA schemas. You will find that a lot of the work you may be thinking of doing has already been implemented for these two schemas. Both have active communities that support toolkits that will get you from XML to html, print, ebooks, and various help formats, and both toolkits allow you to customize output in a variety of ways.

You can get from HTML to print, but it's not the easiest way to go in my experience. The only times I've done a book from HTML, I converted the HTML to DocBook XML and used that toolchain, rather than CSS. There are folks who can do magic with CSS and who would probably disagree with me, but if you're starting with XML, rather than HTML, I would do what I suggested in my previous message and go directly with whatever toolkit exists for the schema you choose.

Good Luck,

Richard Hamilton
-------
XML Press
XML for Technical Communicators
http://xmlpress.net
hamilton -at- xmlpress -dot- net

On Aug 14, 2011, at 5:05 AM, Jimmy Breck-McKye wrote:

>
> Does anyone here have any experience publishing paper documentation using HTML and CSS?
> Because my job involves testing and diagnosing problems in web applications, I've an awful lot of opportunities to learn about these technologies. It makes sense to learn one, versatile tool well rather than two poorly. It also makes sense to use technologies that are well-documented and easily understood by my peers. CSS helps me tick all these boxes.Practically speaking, I'm told that print CSS handling is quite mature on certain browsers, and from what I've seen, it looks as though CSS can do an awful lot. It also looks pretty straightforward to implement an XML - XSLT - HTML + CSS toolchain (as much as XSLT's syntax irritates me). Working in plain XML would free me to implement parts of my toolchain in other technologies, too (I've had especially good experiences transforming XML with Python scripts).But that's just the theory. Does anyone have any practical experience on this point? Any advice or common pitfalls?Thanks in advance,Jimmy/p>(Also, apologies if the carriage
> returns are broken. The Techwr-l mail handler seems to have a particular issue with my emails)
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

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Publishing / typesetting print documentation in HTML + CSS (+JS): From: Jimmy Breck-McKye

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