DocBook to ePub

Thibaut Cuvelier tcuvelier at
Fri Jan 29 17:38:30 UTC 2021

Dear list,

As promised, I started working on ePub output, building upon the new
DocBook output.

Here is a script that performs the complete process of taking a DocBook
file and generating the ePub. It has several dependencies:

- an XSLT processor:

   - not xsltproc ( available for
   most Linux distributions, I guess it is available by default on macOS, must
   be bundled for Windows. I tried several versions for Windows, but an old
   bug that should have been fixed in 1.1.24 (roughly 2010) is still there:
   - I/O error : No such file or directory
      - xsltDocumentElem: unable to save to
   - Saxon 6 (available for most Linux distributions, must be bundled for
   Windows and macOS, requires Java). It's outdated software (circa 2005), but
   newer versions are not 100% backward compatible, so it is still very widely
   used. Other DocBook stylesheets would work on newer Saxon, but they are not
   as reliable as the old ones (like
   - not MSXML6 (Windows-only, mostly built-it, but not compatible with the
   DocBook stylesheets — it wrongly errors with chunking) or .Net XSLT engine

- the official DocBook XSLT stylesheets. Three parts are required: XHTML,
XHTML5, and ePub. For now, I copied the needed parts in a patch. On some
Linux distributions, this could be replaced by a version installed by the
package manager (Ubuntu 20.04 has a near-up-to-date version, although the
latest one has been released in 2016:;
Fedora is up-to-date).

The integration into LyX should be complete, minus testing on Linux and
others and packaging issues: the dependencies must be included for Windows
and macOS, not for all Linux distros.

(By the way, these patches have been written on top of the 14 others I just
submitted to the list: they should apply cleanly, but that's not 100%

It's open for comments :)!
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