I'm following the quest to write a lout backend
for asciidoc 7.1.2 (lout is a high level document
description language in the tradition of LaTeX;
see http://lout.sourceforge.net/[] for details).
Having such an backend would give us the
benefit of having a path towards PDF and
PostScript documentation which is *much*
more resource friendly than the docbook/fo

To accomplish the task, I started by modifing
docbook.conf. Basic things are in place now
but I also encounter 3 problems that are
the reason for this eMail.

Section Level Problem
Lout needs a special tag (i.e. output threatment)
whenever the section level is *changed*. E.g.

-  > - a> ~ > ~ b> - a> ~ a> ^ b> -

where  >, a>, b> denote no event, event a, and event b,
respectively. Looking at the code of asciidoc.py
I encountered that there is a `Document` class
that tracks section level information (in the `level`
attribute). But I have no idea how to actually access
this in a `*.conf` file.

Section or Appendix
Lout also needs to know if text processing is in a
'normal' section or has advanced towards the
appendix. As above, I have no idea how to get this
information from within a `*.conf` file.

XML character references
asciidoc seems to be designed with XML in mind.
However, more traditional high level document
description languages like lout can't treat things
like — . As a consequence, I did the following
in the `lout.conf` file:

# — entities
\&\#([0-9]{1,4});=<Char "#"\1>

Certainly, this is temporary hack. The right
way to do it would be to replace 'well known'
numerical entity references with the lout
counterpart, i.e. [EMAIL PROTECTED] emdash`. As a further
complication lout character references like
the above need either an non alphanumeric
character or an whitespace to the right and
to the left. Instead of writing several hundred
of replacement lines, a little python scripting
(with a dictionary) feels the right thing to

Any help would be highly appreciated.



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