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S1000D Data Module to PDF - Process Overview

- Tuesday, 16th November 2021

In order to de-mystify the process of converting an S1000D Data Module from its native SGML or XML format into a PDF file, we have put together a simple Process Overview video.

1 - If we have an SGML Data Module, we convert it to an XML file. This means we have a single common XML process going forward.

Convert SGML to XML with the Open-Source James Clark SX program.

If the original source Data Module is an XML file, then we start processing here...

2 - Docuneering have developed a set of S1000D Stylesheets to convert S1000D XML Data Modules into a standard S1000D layout using the XSL Formatting Object (FO) language. The Docuneering S1000D Stylesheets take an XML file and with the help of an XSL-Transformer (XSL-T) engine, convert the XML file to an FO file.

During testing, we found the different XSL-T engines built a subtly different FO structure which meant the layout of the PDF file created by Apache FOP was not consistent. To avoid this uncertainty factor, we fixed the structure differences by standardising the FO production with a single XSL-T engine namely Saxon 9 Home Edition.

Convert XML to FO with the Open-Source Saxon 9 Home Edition

3 - In order to keep costs as low as possible, we have continued the theme of using Open-Source technologies by converting the FO file to a PDF file with the Open-Source Apache FOP print formatter.

Convert FO to PDF with the Open-Source Apache FOP print formatter

And there you have it ... as simple as 1 - 2 - 3

1 - Convert SGML to XML
2 - Convert XML to FO
3 - Convert FO to PDF

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