Re: Creating books on the fly from a database?

Subject: Re: Creating books on the fly from a database?
From: Ruth Glaser <ruthg -at- GORETEK -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 1996 10:57:41 -0500

Tracy Boyington wrote:

> We want a way for customers to build their own curriculum <snip>
> They might end up creating a book made up of "pieces" from 10
> other books. <snip> Has anybody done anything like this?


I attended a fabulous presentation, "Applying Object-Oriented
Design Concepts to Web Publishing," by Nancy Hoft at the STC
Conference in Seattle. She discussed this very topic.

At Sun Microsystems they did exactly what you describe. They
"chunked" information into HTML documents, stored them in a
database, and allowed users to pick which chunks they wanted
to print to create a book.

They did this by developing a Perl script to create a form that
listed each page or document within each class (in your case,
this would be each task). The user checked which pieces they
wanted to include, and gave this new "chapter" a name. The
document came out with running headers & footers and was
customized based on the user's form input.

For more information look at
This is the home page for Nancy's company. It has a link to

Ruth T. Glaser e-mail: ruthg -at- goretek -dot- com
Goretek Data Systems, Inc. Phone: (612) 639-5043
900 Long Lake Road #151 Fax: (612) 639-5090
New Brighton, MN 55112 WWW:

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