SGML2x-to-XML Converter Speeds Doc Conversions

Many developers are looking for better ways to prepare their document-based data for XML-based cross-platform sharing in a web services environment. Their search might be rewarded by a free scripting project designed to help developers apply a DSSSL (Document Style Semantics and Specification Language) stylesheet to an SGML or XML document.

Tags: Sgml2x, SGML, Stylesheet, Developers, Configuration Directories, Converter, DSSSL,


Many developers are looking for better ways to prepare their document-based data for XML-based cross-platform sharing in a web services environment. Their search might be rewarded by a free scripting project designed to help developers apply a DSSSL (Document Style Semantics and Specification Language) stylesheet to an SGML or XML document.

Called sgml2x, this generic sgml/xml converter allows developers to easily format an SGML document using DSSSL, and provides several interesting features, including:
  • Support for multiple stylesheets per document class;
  • Easy integration of new stylesheets by adding a simple new definition file in a configuration directory;
  • Ability to let the "caller" specify a PATH-like list of configuration directories, defaulting to a variety of system-wide, per-user and per-project configuration directories; and
  • Automatic selection of a default stylesheet to be used.


  • You can download the latest version of sgml2x, "Sgml2x converter 0.99.4 (sgml2x-1.0)", at Freshmeat.

    Written in Perl, the sgml2x package serves as a front end for Jade (James Clark's freely available implementation of the DSSSL style language) and JadeTex (LaTeX macros for SGML to DVI/PS/PDF conversion with Jade). sgml2x is set up to work with OASIS' standard DocBook DTD (Document Type Definition) in SGML/XML.

    The code also requires the OASIS' SGML DocBook catalog files, which you can find at and ISO Entities, available as a downloadable zip file. You might also get "opensp", the OpenJade group's SGML parsing tools.

    The work on sgml2x was initiated by Yann Dirson. Get more background on this and other free software projects at Alcove Labs.





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