Ant Docbook Styler Suite Thursday, December 30, 2004

If you do any publishing with Docbook you should take a look at the Ant and Docbook Styler Suite. I recently stumbled across that and have so far been very impressed. Installation is as simple as executing a target in the build file provided with the distribution and using the library is as simple as adding a task in your Ant build file to execute a target in their build file. You have to provide a handful of property values so their task knows where to find your docbook source, what to generate, etc. but it really is a snap to use. Their 3 or 4 page instructions (included in the distribution of course) are very clear and got me up and running within 10 minutes or so.

I have looked at other Ant + Docbook solutions and they are all a wirey mess of dependencies and you have to download Docbook stylesheets separately and plugging in FO support is another twisted mess, and on and on. The Styler Suite was much much simpler and seems to do a very nice job.

If you are a docbook author but not a Java developer, this may turn out being more headache than it is worth but if you already have Ant and Java installed, using this is a cinch.

Thanks to Dawid Weiss for the slick tool!


Eric Burke said...

Thanks for the reference. I've tried the "other" Docbook stylesheets in the past and always gave up in frustration. The existing stuff is just too complex and too dependent on specific XSLT processors. If this new tool is simpler it might give me a reason to revisit Docbook.