Peter Lavin | 31 Jul 01:04 2014

invalid EPUB file when using a glossary


I'm attempting to validate an EPUB 3 file that contains a glossary and I'm seeing the following error for each glossary entry:

ERROR: book.epub/OEBPS/db.gloss.xhtml(22,48): element "a" not allowed here; expected element "dd" or "dt"

I'm using Epubcheck Version 3.0.1 and my style sheets are 1.78.1 (docbook-xsl-ns). 

An example of the HTML that raises the error follows:

<dt id="db.gloss.json"><span class="glossterm" epub:type="glossterm"/> (<abbr class="acronym">JSON</abbr>)</dt>
<a id="idp1493040" class="indexterm"/>
<dd class="glossdef" epub:type="glossdef">

Attempting to validate this HTML at the W3C site throws the following error:

Line 22, Column 46: XHTML element a not allowed as child of XHTML element dl in this context. (Suppressing further errors from this subtree.)
        <a id="idp1493040" class="indexterm"/>
Am I correct in assuming that this style sheet generates invalid HTML?
If so, how can this be fixed?



Peter Lavin
Skype:             peter.lavin
(GMT -05:00 Canada/US Eastern)
Jirka Kosek | 28 Jul 19:25 2014

Re: Redundant end tags been removed

On 24.7.2014 1:32, Peter Desjardins wrote:
> This reminds me of a problem I saw in webhelp. I think it was solved by
> inserting a comment in the script tag. Then the end tag is preserved.

If you use Saxon, more elagant solution is to specify saxon:xhtml as an
output method, either in xsl:output or in $chunker.output.method.



  Jirka Kosek      e-mail: jirka <at>
       Professional XML consulting and training services
  DocBook customization, custom XSLT/XSL-FO document processing
 OASIS DocBook TC member, W3C Invited Expert, ISO JTC1/SC34 rep.
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Phillip Kent | 24 Jul 12:24 2014

Customization of the text output of <keycap function="..."/>

I want to customize the text output of <keycap function="backspace"/>
and <keycap function="delete">
[the first I think is ugly and the second doesn't correspond to all of
the keyboards I have looked at which have a primary 'Delete' key not

I can see this is a language/localization issue. Is there a simple(r)
way of customizing without have to customize a language setting?

Thanks Phillip
Jon Leech | 24 Jul 10:27 2014

Multiple named references to a single <refentry> page?

The GL man pages I maintain have a number of pages that describe several
closely-related commands, e.g.
which describes the commands glEnable, glDisable, glEnablei, and glDisablei. We'd like
to be able to refer to this page by any of these names from other pages, e.g.

"The commands <citerefentry><refentrytitle>glEnable</refentrytitle></citerefentry>
and <citerefentry><refentrytitle>glDisable</refentrytitle></citerefentry> may be
used to enable and disable blending."

However, a page has only one <refentrytitle> and <citerefentry> doesn't know anything
about the others, so doing this just results in a bogus link to glDisable.xhtml
in the generated output (see

Is there an alternate way to refer to the same <refentry> by multiple names, e.g.
by the multiple <refname> tags which are allowed?


     Jon Leech
Stefan Knorr | 23 Jul 21:03 2014

Finding out if an element is processed as part of an xref text

Hi again,

so... we are trying to create nice-looking PDF documents with nice
fonts that are displayed with matching x-heights (i. e. when mixing
different fonts on the same line, the height of the lowercase letters
should always be the same). We need a solution that works with FOP
(and XEP) which has led to me manually having to find out factors to
multiply font sizes with... and now it works, mostly.

We are using the usual three different fonts:
+ "Serif" for running text
+ "Sans" for titles and ToC
+ "Mono" for code examples, command, etc.

When adding another font within the running text, as needs to be done
for e.g. commands in a para, I am using em units. FO output could e.g. be:
    <fo:block font-size="12pt">
      This was a DocBook para with a
      <fo:inline font-size="0.89em">command</fo:inline>
      in it.

Since titles are usually in the sans-serif font, but running text is in
the serif font, I need different em sizes for each to make the mono font
appear well-adjusted in either.

However, there is an issue with xrefs: they are generally displayed in a
serif font, but usually reference a title. Sometimes that title contains
a monospaced elements like a command. But when I process that monospaced
element, I can't see that I am processing it for a xref.

I tried using no.anchors.mode to determine whether I was within an xref
but that seems to be set for every title now, somehow (not sure if my
code was always faulty or this is something that has changed with a
DocBook update).

Any ideas on how resolve this?

Thanks in advance,



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Peter Fleck | 23 Jul 19:24 2014

Redundant end tags been removed

Hi guys,

I'm trying to add the below to each chunked html page.

<script type="text/javascript" src="//"></script> <div class="addthis_sharing_toolbox"/>
What happens is that the <script> tag gets shortened to

<script type="text/javascript" src="//"/>
ie. the redundant closing tag is removed and the end slash added.

This stops the rest of the html being displayed. If I manually change the html after it has been created  to the top, the AddThis sharing buttons appear.

I know there is probably a simple answer to this but can't get it. Is there a way to stop the <script> tag getting shortened?


Fritsch, Michael | 16 Jul 15:19 2014

WebHelp Generation writes parsing to output



I use the DocBooks XSLT stylesheets in version 1.78.1 and generate WebHelp . When generating WebHelp, the indexer for the search (I suppose)  writes output like “Parsing: Filename”. Is there a way to suppress this output?





Dr. Michael Fritsch

Technical Editor

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fax +49.40.325587.999

michael.fritsch <at>

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Robert Nagle | 15 Jul 23:01 2014

using saxon + apache-fop -- help!

Hi, there, I'm going to give my client instructions about how to create the xslt docbook environment for producing docs. 

Actually though I've never done it before from scratch usually hopefully only the command line.

I'm going to give directions for doing it in linux: saxon + apache+fop.

I'm now looking over Bob's directions and am trying to figure things out. I'm not really comfortable with java,  so I'm flying blind so to speak. I didn't realize that I would need to download some java libraries to process images/pngs (with JAI). Also, I probably need to remind myself how to add paths, etc.

(By the way, if anyone has prepared a more recent set of  instructions for deploying on a linux/ubuntu machine, feel free to forward it to me. Bob's documents are good, but 7 years later I fear that some of the instructions might be out of date)).

Here are some superficial questions that jump out on me:

1.  In Saxon, do I have to tell it (via a switch or special command) to use xincludes? Or will it already figure out that index.xml will call first.xml, second.xml, etc...
2. I guess I probably need to validate my files. Is Xalan still the best way to do that?
3. Is it still recommended to download and use Xerces instead of Saxon.

Thanks. Robert

java version "1.6.0_31"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (IcedTea6 1.13.3) (6b31-1.13.3-1ubuntu1~
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.25-b01, mixed mode)


Robert Nagle
6121 Winsome Ln #56C, Houston TX 77057-5581
(H) 713 893 3424/ (W) 832-251-7522 Carbon Neutral Since Jan 2010
Stephen Corbesero | 11 Jul 16:42 2014

Is there a good reference for using the new slides stylesheets?


Can anyone point me at one or more good references on how to use the “new” ( dbs: ) ?


Most things I come across are based on the older slides.


Thanks in advance.




Stephen Corbesero, DevOps Engineer

Synchronoss - Mobile Innovation for a Connected World

stephen.corbesero <at> |


Robert Nagle | 9 Jul 14:59 2014

colwidth = ? how to specify for FOP output?

I'm delivering a doc for a client that has a lot of tables. Output will be primarily PDF. Although I use XEP with Oxygen to output the PDF, my client wants to use only open source tools to generate their PDF. (ie. apache-fop).  The client would also like HTML output -- it's less critical but nice-to-have.

I'm somewhat new to CALS tables, so I've been learning about how to do borders and to set column width.

IN the description of colspec, (, I see no description of values for this. But Oxygen's table wizard and Bob's example ( ) uses
 colwidth="1.0*" . I have no idea what that means. Can someone explain? In particular, what does that asterisk mean?

 When  colwidth="1.0*", the default CALS table  appears to be making every column of equal width, which is not particularly good for me. If I remove all the colwidth attributes, then the PDF  defaults to everything having the same width.

 For CALS tables, do I need to specify column width in cm or inches?

 My main reason for going for CALS over HTML tables is that I can't get HTML tables to put borders anywhere on the PDF output. (Can anyone confirm this?) On the other hand, if I use CALS tables, what happens to the HTML output? (Does it just make the width dynamic?)

 Finally, if I assume that colwidth has some auto-size feature (probably not?), what kind of support can I expect from Apache-FOP?


Robert Nagle
6121 Winsome Ln #56C, Houston TX 77057-5581
(H) 713 893 3424/ (W) 832-251-7522 Carbon Neutral Since Jan 2010
KARR, DAVID | 7 Jul 22:31 2014

Possible to render footnotes on the same page as the reference?

I know very little about docbook, I'm just starting to edit a set of documents that is using it.

The application I'm working on generates documents from docbook files through Flying Saucer and iText.

I see that footnotes currently render at the end of chapters, as opposed to the end of the page.  Is it
practical and possible to make footnotes render at the bottom of the page?