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Elli and TEI-L:
 
I agree with Richard Light, that at least looking at the DSSSL/RTF
option would be well worth it for the WWP. I don't know what kind of
operational constraints you're working with (platforms etc.), but at
Mulberry we have had good success running on a shoestring, in a
mixed-platform shop, using DSSSL/RTF with some (very modest)
post-processing in Word. (Other DTP apps can take RTF too, of course, if
with varying success.)
 
I have a bit of experience with Frame/SGML, and have to say I like DSSSL
better. Setup/configuration of Frame (EDD files, a kind of document
model specification with mappings to styles) can be pretty hairy and
might be quite a tall order for TEI, especially if your repository
represents a range of practices. I also think DSSSL stylesheets will be
easier to maintain and work with over time, and will be at least as
reliable for large numbers of documents. (Remember the use case for most
places using Frame involves using it for authoring, which means it works
in quasi-WYSIWYG mode for them. Even if their tag usage is variable in
practice, documents will all _look_ the way the writer meant, at least
to start with. Hence they can get away with being somewhat sloppier,
working around problems -- or pretending they're not there -- if the
implementation happens to be loose. Your scenario is different, since
your writers will not be fitting their tag usage to the way the
documents happen to be styled, but have been doing it "right".)
 
I don't think you'd find XSL/CSS workable for print although you can
create very respectable web output (HTML/CSS) that way even with free
tools and a draft spec (this would involve preprocessing to XMLize your
TEI). But for print, for the time being your choice will still come down
to DSSSL/Jade vs. one or another proprietary solution. Although DSSSL is
a bit steep to start into, it's very satisfying to work with, powerful
and open, and provides lots of opportunities for code reuse. Keep in
mind that none of the proprietary solutions work out of the box either
-- they will also call for an investment in knowhow (after more upfront
costs), involving just as much strategic risk as the DSSSL/Jade option.
 
So don't call DSSSL dead yet! Although if you went this route, it would
certainly be prudent to do so with an eye to eventual migration to XSL.
 
--Wendell
 
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Wendell Piez                            mailto:[log in to unmask]
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.                http://www.mulberrytech.com
17 West Jefferson Street                    Direct Phone: 301/315-9635
Suite 207                                          Phone: 301/315-9631
Rockville, MD  20850                                 Fax: 301/315-8285
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