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[docbook-apps] Dynamic web serving of large Docbook
- From: Frans Englich <frans dot englich at telia dot com>
- To: docbook-apps at lists dot oasis-open dot org
- Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 21:06:51 +0000
- Subject: [docbook-apps] Dynamic web serving of large Docbook
I'm scouting for a solution for a large Docbook/website project, and perhaps
someone have had similar problems.
Here's the situation:
The sources stretches over several books and over 500 pages, and multiple
authors are working and updating on a daily basis. It's maintained in a CVS
repository, and the document's primary usage is on a website which
occasionally should handle traffic corresponding to a slashdotting without
requiring manual intervention(switch to serving true static files, for
example). The output would be with the navigation structure(chunked), and PDF
files for each chunk.
One solution is to do an ordinary transformation, run by a cron/makefile
script. But this is inflexible, since other content needs dynamic generation,
and it also -- actually -- becomes a performance issue since it involves many
files(largely because it's chunked PDF too); especially since the script would
have to be run with short intervals in order to avoid long waits between
The perfect solution, AFAICT, would be a dynamic, cached, generation. When a
certain section is requested, only that part is transformed, and cached for
future deliveries. It sounds nice, and sounds like it would be fast.
I looked at Cocoon(cocoon.apache.org) for helping me with this, and it does
many things well; it caches XSLT sheets, the source files, and even
CIncludes(same as XIncludes basically).
However, AFAICT, Docbook makes it not easy:
* If one section is to be transformed, the sheets must parse /all/ sources, in
order to resolve references and so forth. There's no way to workaround this,
* Cocoon specific: It cannot cache "a part" of a transformation, which means
the point above isn't workarounded. Right? This would otherwise mean the
transformation of all non-changed sources would be cached.
This is further encumbered by that chunked output doesn't send to standard
out, but write to files. Probably my knowledge about Docbook & Cocoon is too
low, but perhaps it can be workarounded, or that it is no problem for Cocoon.
I tried playing with the rootid parameter, but it didn't matter as Bob's
Docbook XSL: The Complete Guide said. A document that takes 11 seconds with
xsltproc(fast..) on a idle modern computer, took 7 seconds when only a small
section was outputted. Not enough.
I've asked on the cocoon-users list, but there was no enlightening replies.
Feel free to clear my confusion. What it basically boils down to, is:
Is there any way to generate parts from a Docbook Set in a quick way, suitable
for dynamic web serving?