How to cite this paper

Maloney, Murray. “Using DocBook5: To Produce PDF and ePub3 Books.” Presented at Balisage: The Markup Conference 2017, Washington, DC, August 1 - 4, 2017. In Proceedings of Balisage: The Markup Conference 2017. Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, vol. 19 (2017).

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2017
August 1 - 4, 2017

Balisage Paper: Using DocBook5

To Produce PDF and ePub3 Books

Murray Maloney

Murray Maloney is a technical writer by trade, an electronic technician by training, a markup language expert by circumstance, and an inventor by necessity. His areas of expertise are technical publishing and semantic markup. He has been working with publishing systems since 1975, as a writer, editor, publisher, hypertext system architect, typesetter, and quality advocate.

Copyright © 2017 Murray Maloney


Production notes from an academic book project designed to yield variations of a single work in print, ePub, and PDF book forms, between 2012 and 2016. The work is a multi-disciplinary study of the art and science of organizing. Murray contributed and edited content, participated in the design, and coordinated production.

He will talk about what they wanted to do, what they did in each successive edition, what didn’t get done, what worked, what didn’t, what they would do differently in retrospect, and what they would do the same, if they had it to do over.

Table of Contents



The Discipline of Organizing is an academic work edited by UC Information School Adjunct Professor, Robert J Glushko, with contributions from a diverse collection of educators and students around the world. Between 2010 and 2012, he assemble and organized material from his course notes and slide decks, along with contributions from other professors and some graduate students. His goal was to produce an academic book in print and epub2 formats for publication by MIT Press. The first edition was published by MIT Press in 2013, in hard-cover print and ePub2 forms. The second through fourth editions were published for O'Reilly Media. PDF format editions of the third and fourth editions were made available for use for accessibility.

Murray Maloney joined the project in Spring of 2012, tasked with content editing. Later in 2012, he assumed responsibility for producing the first edition print and epub editions, using O'Reilly's Atlas system, which was subsequently used to produce an ePub3-only edition in 2014. In 2014 and 2015, Murray produced print and epub3 editions using customized XSLT scripts created by Bob Stayton and further developed by Jirka Kosek.

The associated PDF file [Bal2017MaloneyPRODNOTES.pdf] is an elided version of Murray's Production notes. In its complete form, it was a hidden chapter in the book. He relied upon this chapter to test formatting, copy-fitting, floats, hypertext capabilities, The examples that illustrate DocBook5 input and XHTML5 output were intended primarily for the benefit of the production editor and the XSLT wizards. Many figures and examples have been removed because they would not have worked without the custom production pipeline, CSS, and JavaScript..