Xml in publishing the printer s perspective
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XML in Publishing The Printer’s Perspective. A Presentation by David Lewis of Clowes Information. Introduction. Printing is seen as a Cinderella Industry - but the b ook remains a main source of revenue Printers are not Luddites – they do have reason to be cynics.

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Xml in publishing the printer s perspective

XML in PublishingThe Printer’s Perspective

A Presentation by

David Lewis


Clowes Information


  • Printing is seen as a Cinderella Industry - but the book remains a main source of revenue

  • Printers are not Luddites – they do have reason to be cynics

The early d ays of structured document creation
The Early Days of Structured Document Creation

  • Typesetters have always wanted to code documents

  • Early SGML projects originated by typesetters

  • Typesetters were obsessed with keystrokes

    • contributed to tag minimization

  • Always normalise SGML before use

  • Sequence used to be Typeset then convert to SGML

  • It has now become Create SGML then typeset

The l oss of s tructure
The Loss of Structure

  • Authors originate in MS Wordbut do not add structure

  • The move to new media publishing given to IT dept

  • Cannot go from legacy data to structured data via HTML

  • DTP made everyone an expert – structure disappeared

Publishing d atabases
Publishing Databases

  • The idea of typesetting from databases is not new

  • Supplied as fielded or separated lists.

    • Not easy to change this interface

  • New databases have emulated old interfaces

  • Relational model is not ideal for free text

    • often sets of Word files managed by RDBMS

  • Is it time to do it properly – use an XML database?

  • Hardest task of all is to get editorial staff to use structured editing software

Dtd c reation
DTD Creation

  • Can use Docbook – it tries to be all things to all men

  • There is often missing metadata for a book page

  • Books require many types of space, so use the entities

  • Even better - make an element group to keep items under positional control

  • Groups also facilitate finding the last in a list – a, b, c, d and e

Dtd c reation1
DTD Creation

  • Multiple references to a float

    • we need one that calls in the picture

  • References to graphics

    • OK to rotate landscape tables/graphics?

    • are there rules for sizing to fit the page layout?

  • Is specific text needed for headline or footline

  • Ambiguity of quoted paras within paras

    • A group may resolve the ambiguity

Creating xml
Creating XML

  • Legacy conversion

    • Extra workload on editorial staff

    • Fallback is re-keying

    • Smart conversion from existing files avoids introducing new errors

  • Conversion from SGML

    • Data files generally not too difficult

    • DTD conversion more difficult

    • Do not attempt the conversion at a critical time

Creating xml1
Creating XML

  • Authoring XML

    • Unfortunately most publishers and authors want to use MS Word

      • Word look-alike approach

      • Database entry look-alike approach

      • Multi window views of the same document

  • Spaces are important

  • Use text editor to know exactly what is in the XML

Page m akeup
Page Makeup

  • Makeup for a printed page is more demanding than for electronic delivery

    • There is a much higher expectation of quality on a printed page

    • Printed page has width and depth constraints

    • Floating objects share space with the text flow

    • Need to fill as much white space as possible to minimise the number of pages

Page m akeup1
Page Makeup

  • From XML it should be as automatic as possible

  • XSL does not yet have print page features (if ever)

  • XSL defines the rules – page makeup needs ways to solve the problems caused by the rules.

  • Designers should consider potential page break problems caused by the design

  • Publishers/Editors always seem to do corrections when they see pages

The printer s contribution
The Printer’s Contribution

  • There is a high turnover of Publisher’s staff, so Printers are often the only continuity

  • Trusted bythe current production team

  • Can best manage the transition from legacy to structured data

  • Printer has the best knowledge of the data,therefore well placed to lead DTD design.

  • Printer can be best interface to “XML experts”

The printer s contribution1
The Printer’s Contribution

  • Printers have set up new media operations, but often disguise the association by a change of name

  • Does the promised inclusion of XML within PDF bring the wheel full circle?

    • Spec for PDF 1.4 includes XML metadataeg PPML for personalization

And finally
And Finally

Remember . . .

Cinderella DID go to the balland

DID marry the Prince