#1251 Separate part info page by default for <part>?

XSL (1066)

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.


  • Robert Stayton

    Robert Stayton - 2012-08-13

    First, I would suggest that questions first be asked on the docbook-apps mailing list rather than in a bug report. The mailing list will generate a good discussion from DocBook users, but few people read the bug reports.

    Regarding part pagination in FO output, the default is to generate just such a separator page, which contains only the title info and the partintro. When you say "with the text of the part following immediately after the part title on the same page", do you mean the partintro content?

    If you mean the chapter content in a part is appearing on the same page, then that is not the default behavior.

  • Petter Reinholdtsen

    > When you say "with the text of the part following immediately
    > after the part title on the same page", do you mean the partintro content?

    Yes. See https://github.com/petterreinholdtsen/free-culture-lessig for the files used to build the book I am working on. :)

  • Petter Reinholdtsen

    docbook file demonstrating the issue

  • Petter Reinholdtsen

    I uploaded a docbook file demonstrating the issue, and two PDFs showing different ways to present it. The dblatex presentation place the part title in the center of a page on its own, and the partintro on the following page, and this is the presentation I believe is most visually pleasing. The docbook-xsl + fop presentation place the part title at the top of a page, and the text of the partintro follow it immediately on the same page. I belive this is a bad default presentation, and suggest something similar to how dblatex do it is used instead.

    Btw: I noticed your suggestion on using the mailing list, but it rejected my email as a non-subscriber, so I concluded my input were not wanted there. I do not want to subscribe to more mailing lists.

  • Robert Stayton

    Robert Stayton - 2012-10-20

    Well, I think placement of a partintro is a matter of choice, and my limited research cannot find any standard. The Chicago Manual of Style mentions part intro, but does not say if it should be on the recto or verso part divider pages. I'm looking at JavaScript: The Definitive Guide (O'Reilly) and Ajax in Action (Manning), and they put the the part intro on the recto page with the part title.

    In other books, I see the recto page containing the title and part Table of Contents, while DocBook XSL puts a part TOC in a separate page sequence, which means it takes up two pages in a double-sided book.

    I would say "fairly good formatting" is a goal, but the larger goal is to make the stylesheets customizable to match specific style requirements. Another goal is backwards compatibility of stylesheet changes, where possible.

    I don't think existing stylesheet users would be happy if we changed the default placement, because they would be forced to do a customization to recover what they had previously. However, I will look into making the arrangement of part dividers easier to customize.

  • Robert Stayton

    Robert Stayton - 2012-10-20
    • assigned_to: nobody --> bobstayton

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