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From Glen Mazza <gma...@apache.org>
Subject Re: User Types
Date Wed, 09 Aug 2006 16:50:25 GMT
We use XSL/XSLT for reports and for Docbook.

Docbook:  Tech Writer creates the XML documents that will be fed through 
the Docbook stylesheets.  Uses Eclipse WTP for this.  The developer 
creates an Ant script that automates all of the tech writer's doc 
generation and publishing-to-web-server tasks so the writer only needs 
to know how to call Ant tasks from the script for these chores.  (Over 
time, our tech writer has also learned to modify and add new tasks in.)

Docbook Maintenance:  Tech Writer enters the documentation changes 
(after getting information from developers) and republishes them via Ant 

XSL/XSLT Reports:  Very nice separation of data from presentation 
chores.  Developer first defines the input format of the XML document 
that will have the report's data.  The tech writer creates the 
stylesheet that will layout the report, usually leveraging previously 
created stylesheets, and also creates sample XML documents with dummy 
data for testing the stylesheets.  Tech writer also maintains any header 
stylesheets that will be imported by multiple document stylesheets.  
Developer creates the SQL, SAX Event generation, etc. that generate the 
XML document.

For a non-programming tech writer, XSLT coding presents a pleasantly 
not-very-steep but continuous learning curve--simple stuff can be done 
without any training at all (i.e., change the title in an already 
existing document from FOO to BAR -- anyone with a text editor can S & R 
on FOO to do this without needing to know a thing about XSLT) with more 
complex tasks (XSLT templates and functions and the like) gradually 
added in over time.

XSL/XSLT Reports Maintenance:  Tech Writer is responsible for making 
stylesheet/reports look "nice" and presentation/layout change requests, 
developer is responsible for bringing in new/different data elements 
from the SQL, as well as overall maintenance of the web application.

The main thing when doing Docbook and XSL/XSLT in production, especially 
with non-programming employees is:  Ant, Ant, Ant!  Keep everything 
automated and defined (classpaths, working directories, web servers to 
FTP to, etc.) within Ant and outside local IDEs/computer environment 
variables.  (Among other benefits, if some developers prefer this IDE 
and others another IDE, it won't matter, because everything is 
configured within the Ant build file.)  The second most important thing 
is CVS/SVN, CVS/SVN, CVS/SVN!  Eclipse makes it easy to immediately 
commit new changes.


andyrob_24_7@yahoo.com wrote:

>I'd be interested to know what types of people are using the FOP engine to generate documents.
>Could you indicate whether your setup has a dedicated programmer, or team of programmers,
individual author, technical author etc.
>Does the same person who writes the content setup your FOP transformations.
>Andy R
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