Publishing Books Using XML Technologies
Dr. Herong Yang, Version 4.01

Ideas on Publishing Books using XML

This section lists ideas and objectives on publishing books using XML technologies.

1. Authors should be able to write the book content in a single source file format independent of the final publishing format, even if multiple publishing formats are needed.

2. XML file format should be used as the source file format to store the book content. The advantages of using XML to store the source file are so obvious. XML files are well structured for other processes to perform further manipulation. XML files are also clear text files that can be edited by almost any editors.

3. There is no need to design a new XML schema for storing the source files. We can use the well known XHTML schema to store source files for simple books. There are several nice advantages of the XHTML schema:

  • XHTML is well designed and published. Most of us already know how to use it to write Web pages. So there is no extra learning effort.
  • XHTML does provide enough tags and attributes to manage simple book elements and structures.
  • XHTML files can be viewed directly by any Web browsers. So storing book contents in XHTML allows authors to view them in any browser as drafts.

4. The XHTML book source file should only contain the textual content and the structure of the book. Presentation layouts and formatting information should be stored separately as Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) files and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) files. Obviously, this allows authors to concentrate on the book contents without worry too much about the presentation of the book. Publishers can easily change book's presentations through XSL and CSS files.

5. Simple tools should be developed to help transform the book source files to their final publishing formats.

6. Special XHTML tag conventions should be used to help authors to build cross references in the book for table of contents and other hyper links.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

Ideas on Publishing Books using XML

 Overview of hyPub - A Simple XML Publishing Tool

 Writing Book Contents in XHTML Source Files

 Transforming Book Source Files with XSL Technology

 Designing Web Page Layouts with Tables

 Controlling Web Page Appearance with CSS

 Sharing HTML Codes with JavaScript Files

 Generating Web Pages with hyPub

 Formatting Printable Documents with XSL-FO

 Generating PDF Documents with hyPub

 Areas of Future Improvements

 References

 PDF Printing Version

Dr. Herong Yang, updated in 2007
Ideas on Publishing Books using XML