Re: [xep-support] cover pages front and back

From: G. Ken Holman <>
Date: Fri Mar 30 2007 - 22:00:30 PST

At 2007-03-30 14:35 -0400, Elliotte Harold wrote:
>Bob Stayton wrote:
>>The DocBook XSL stylesheets currently don't provide direct support
>>for covers, only front title pages. Covers can come in a variety
>>of configurations, such as single-sheet for front and back,
>>wrap-around with spine, or wrap-around without spine for saddle
>>stitch. Text placement and graphics are highly individual, so it
>>is hard to write a general-purpose stylesheet for all possible
>>designs. Also, cover PDFs are often produced separately because
>>their production process (color, heavier stock) may differ from the
>>process for the book block.
>While I agree with all that, it would still be very useful if there
>were some way to automatically stitch a cover provided from another
>source together with the DocBook XSL output; ideally without mucking
>up the page counts either. I.e. assume I have one of these:
>1. A PDF or other graphic wrap around cover generated from another program
>2. Separate graphic covers fro front and back and spine
>3. An XML source document along with my own stylesheet to generate
>the covers in XSL-FO
>Given one of those three inputs, would it be possible to somehow
>parameterize the DocBook XSL stylesheets so it could add extra pages
>for the front and back covers and pull in the external PDF (or
>GIF/PNG/etc.) to make "covers" in the PDF?
>I know we can;t do that now, but would this much be hard to add?

Remember there are no built-in facilities in XSL-FO for reading and
manipulating PDF files.

I do the identified tasks using the free
library. Not knowing Java, I wrote a python program under to do the Java library manipulation. I tack on
front title pages and rear evaluation forms, shuffle the pages into
2-up, create half-sized double-sided and single-sided outputs (with a
half-size output the user prints off the stack of pages, cuts the
stack in two, puts the left stack on top of the right stack and has a
complete book in half the printed page size).

I hope this helps.

. . . . . . . . . . . . Ken

(p.s. my cross-post response may not make it to the docbook list)

>Also is there any sort of de facto standard for where the covers
>appear in pure PDF? e.g. if I buy a Pragmatics or O'Reilly or APress
>eBook, are the covers in the PDF I buy and if so where?
> From a quick scan of the few such PDF books I have handy, it seems
> the front cover is included as a graphic on the first page. The
> back cover and spine are not included.
>If nothing else, this is actually quite useful for Finder previews
>in Mac OS X.

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Received on Fri Mar 30 22:38:49 2007

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