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The purpose of SGML is to allow an author to specify the structure and content of a document (e.g. using the DocBook DTD), and to have the document style define how that content is rendered into a final form (e.g. using Norm Walsh's stylesheets).
See Introduction to DocBook for a nice "quickstart" summary of DocBook features. DocBook Elements provides a powerful cross-reference for features of DocBook.
This documentation set is constructed using several tools, including James Clark's jade and Norm Walsh's Modular DocBook Stylesheets.
Currently, hardcopy is produced by importing Rich Text Format (RTF) output from jade to ApplixWare for minor formatting fixups then exporting as a Postscript file.
TeX is a supported format for jade output, but was not used at this time for several reasons, including the inability to make minor format fixes before committing to hardcopy and generally inadequate table support in the TeX stylesheets.
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