Most books with "parts" I have seen so far have a "front page" when the part starts, normally with the text "Part #" and the title of the part in large letters on this front page for the part. This is also the formatting done by LaTeX and dblatex.
With docbook-xsl on the other hand, the default setup for FO (aka PDF) output is to list 'part X. the part title' the same way it start chapters, with the text of the part following immediately after the part title on the same page.
I am aware that it is possible to customize the handling of <part> using XSLT, but wonder why the default handling is the way it is. Is it a goal for docbook-xsl to have "normal" formatting as the default, and allow customisation to get the uncommon formatting, or is the goal to have "fairly good" formatting? Or am I mistaken i my understanding of how parts are normally handled in books?
The example books I have look at so far is the one I am working on typesetting, Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig (Penguin Press), Programming Perl by Larry Wall et al. (O'Reilly) and UNIX Network Programming by W. Richard Stevens (Prentice Hall PTR), all of which have a separate "empty" front page at the start of each part, with the text "Part #" and the title of the part as the only content of this page.
If the "common" formatting is the intention for the default setup for FO output to have a front page for parts.
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