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sgml2x — Easily formats SGML/XML documents using DSSSL style-sheets


sgml2x [options] [sgmlfile | xmlfile ]

docclass-2-targetformat [options] [sgmlfile | xmlfile ]


sgml2x allows to easily format a SGML or XML document using DSSSL style-sheets, and
provides the following features:

· Multiple possible style-sheets per document class

· Easy specification of style-sheets using aliases, with support for parameter

· Easy integration of new style-sheets by adding a simple new definition file in a
configuration directory

· The caller can specify a PATH-like list of configuration directories, defaulting to
a system-wide, a per-user, and a per-project configuration directories

· Automatic selection of a default style-sheet to be used, based on assigned

· Pass arbitrary options to jade(1)

The document-class used to look for the style-sheets, and the output format, is for now
only derived from the name with which the program is called, so you will want to call this
program through symbolic links like docbook-2-pdf.

sgml2x is a implemented as a shell wrapper around jade(1) (or, preferably, openjade(1),
although we use the generic name jade throughout this documentation), jadetex(1) and other

If there is no jadetex.cfg file near the document, a default one is copied, that enables
production of PDF bookmarks.


-c|--catalog catalog
Use the specified SGML catalog instead of the system default.

-C|--confdirs dir-list
Use (whitespace-separated) list of configuration directories. This option is
cumulative, i.e. you can use several -C options and the lists will be

The list elements should be ordered from the most generic configuration (e.g. system-wide)
to the most specific (e.g. project-wide).

If any directory is provided through this option, the default directory list will be

-D|--dssslproc dsssl-processor
Use dsssl-processor to apply the style-sheet, instead of the default one. This
processor has to support jade-like options, such as -V.

When this option is not present, the first found in the dssslproc files from confdirs is
taken. See "Files" for more details.

-h|--help Display an help message and exit.

-j|--jade dsssl-processor
Obsolete synonym for --dssslproc.

--jadetexfilter perl-filter
Post-process the jadetex output using a perl filter.

This can be useful to force pagebreaks at some specific places to overcome stylesheet
problems, or to force hyphenations where TeX does not have enough patterns, or do any
other clever transformation you'd think about.

See the examples/command-lines file for possible uses.

Print commands instead of running them. Useful to learn about lower-level
tools, and for debugging the command-line.

This option is obsolete. openjade is now the default when available. Use
--dssslproc or a dssslproc configuration file to force a specific processor.

This option used to use openjade(1) as a DSSSL processor instead of jade(1).

-O|--jadeopts jade-options
Additional options to pass to jade(1). This option is cumulative, you can
specify several of them, the provided options will be concatenated.

Set verbosity to quiet

Render the content of document remarks in the document (remark elements in
DocBook 4, comment elements in DocBook 3), making the produced output an
internal-use-only document, printing a bold warning on the cover.

This is a docclass- and style-sheet-specific feature, and not all style-sheets will use

-s|--style style
Select an output style to override the (eventually document-derived) default.

Styles currently available for a specific document class and for each output format are
dependent on the contents of the configuration directories, and can be displayed with the
--help option.

Note that it is good practice to specify this option in a build procedure, so that you get
reproducible results regardless of the available style-sheets.

Increase verbosity. This option can be specified multiple times.

--verbosity N
Set verbosity to N. The levels of verbosity are defined as follows:

quiet Only print errors

default Only print errors and warnings

verbose Also print notices

trace Also print significant commands as they are run (as --no-act does).

debug Also print debugging messages

Print the program version and exit.


sgml2x uses a configuration directory tree instead of a configuration file, so that it is
easy for other packages to plug in with a low risk of breaking an existing setup.

Styles hierarchies are located in directories named styles in each configuration
directory. Old versions of this program used to put those hierarchies directly in the
configuration directories.

A configuration directory contains one directory for each known document class, named with
a document class nickname (e.g. docbook). Those docclass directories contain one sub-
directory for each class of output-format (currently, only html and print are supported).

Currently, implementation issues enforce a limitation on nicknames for document classes
and style-sheets: they can only contain alphanumeric and underscore characters. This
limitation may be dropped in a future release, but that's not going to happen before this
script gets rewritten in another language.

Each of those directory contain one file per available style. The names of these files
may only contain alphanumeric characters, and are used as nicknames for the styles. This
file contains lines with a key: value pattern, with the following keys being currently

Id The public identifier for the style-sheet

Desc A short description of the styles, to be displayed in the help message

pdfOverride, psOverride,
rtfOverride, mifOverride" 10 A dsssl symbol from the print style-sheet to be set
to #t (or a symbol=value pair, suitable as argument to jade's -V option),
to be used for the given print format.

Only one symbol per override line is allowed. To define values for several symbols, use
several lines.

Inherits The nickname of a style-sheet this one inherits from, to avoid needless
duplication of style definitions.

Currently, this only causes inheritance of the *Override parameters.

Priority An positive integer to help selecting the default style when one cannot be
derived from the document. Higher values get higher chance of being taken as
default. Take care of using low priorities for hyper-specialized styles for a
generic document-type, so that it does not get used by error.

For example, the current recommended policy for the DocBook style-sheets derived from
Norman Walsh's is as follows (and may change if experience proves it to be inadequate).

10 The base style-sheets, which usually must be customized.

0 Any style-sheet that was written for an hyper-specialized purpose (e.g.
marketing product sheet).

1000 A default style for all documents produced by an organization. Usually a
light customization, featuring layout preferences, the organization's
logo, or such things.

10-100 Miscellaneous generic customizations of the base style-sheets.

When you write an improved version of a style-sheet with priority n, you
usually want to select a higher priority.




./sgml2x/ The default configuration directories, in which the configuration files are
searched for. See documentation for --confdirs for more details.

The hierarchy that defines usable styles. See "Configuration" for more

A file containing an ordered list of dsssl processors to look for, separated by
newlines and/or whitespace. Lines starting with a # character are treated as
comments. Common values include openjade and jade.

DSSSL processors specified here should accept the -V and -D jade-compatible
command-line options.

The configuration directories are looked for starting with the most specific
one, so that, with the default confdirs, the project settings may override user
settings, which in turn may override system settings.

The special value false can be used to stop the search and prevent looking into
more generic directories. If for example a project must use the
openjade-1.4devel command and no other, it can specify openjade-1.4devel false
in its dssslproc file.


When using openjade-1.4devel as DSSSL processor, you'll see a complaint about the top-
level flow-object generated by doctype.dsl, and automatic determination of the document-
type will fail. This error is otherwise harmless. Ideas of how to deal with this, or
confirmation that openjade-1.4devel is too strict, will be appreciated :)

The future

Planned features for future releases include:

· Integration of an index generator

· Integration of a pretty-printing engine for code examples

· Specification of transformations to be chained

· Declaration of subset docclasses to allow the use with any docclass of the style-
sheets that apply to its superset docclasses.

· Work in a temporary location so as not to pollute the working directory with
temporary files. This is not as easy as it sounds, because it breaks a document
refers to image files using relative paths. That may be seen as a jade bug,

Browse the full TODO list and send us more ideas !


Copyright © 2001-2003 Alcove & Yann Dirson.

sgml2x is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2.

This documentation is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.

Contact us

sgml2x is part of the AlcoveBook project (link to URL http://www.alcove-
labs.org/en/software/alcovebook/) . Please use the AlcoveBook mailing lists (link to URL
https://savannah.gnu.org/mail/?group_id=533) to get in touch with developers and users.

The list of bugs and feature requests is available through a Web interface (link to URL
https://savannah.gnu.org/support/?group_id=533) . Please use it to submit problems and

See also

openjade(1), jade(1), jadetex(1), collateindex.pl(1).


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