Bil Kleb wrote:
> Nicholas Van Weerdenburg wrote:
> >
> > I'm curious- I keep hearing about LaTex -> PDF, but never
> > XSL-FO/FOP->PDF. Is there a reason for that?
>
> I don't understand the later and I need math typesetting.
> Am I being aggressively incompetent?  Should I study
> XSL-FO/FOP?

This is one of those semi-religious issues.

XSL-FO is a more conceptually-elegant approach to go from XML to PDF
and printed output because it's all XML-based (with everything that
goes along with that, like unicode support). LaTeX is in many ways a
hack.

However, the quality of output from FO processors does not yet really
match the quality one can get from TeX (if setup right, which means
knowing how to customize it, using different fonts and such). LaTeX
particularly excels if you do math.

One interesting development of late is that Hans Hagen--author of the
ConTeXt macro package (sort of a more modern alternative to LaTeX)--has
been working on adding FO support to ConTeXt. This may provide the best
of boths worlds: XML-based toolchain + TeX quality.

http://www.pragma-ade.com/general/magazines/mag-0008.pdf
http://www.ntg.nl/mailman/listinfo/foxet

So, I'd say you should take a look at FO (and maybe foxet) and see for
yourself if it's worth exploring further.

BTW, I author in DocBook, and use XSLT to generate XHTML and PDF. To
generate the latter I first go to LaTeX. This will likely change in the
future though as FO tools like foxet mature (and I have more time to
experiment!).

Bruce