This section describes how to work with DocBook on Unix-like systems like Linux. If you unfortunately are working on some other operating system, you might need to gather and configure the needed tools by yourself or to buy a commercial solution.
The technology around DocBook evolves. In the past:
DocBook started as a "SGML application", just like HTML did.
DocBook documents used being converted with the help of DSSSL style sheets.
The PDF layout was accomplished through TeX typesetting engine.
DocBook follows the syntax of XML, just like XHTML does.
It is converted to other formats by XSLT style sheets.
PDF layout being done through a XSL-FO engine.
There is another distribution of SGML/DSSL tools named "SGML-Tools (Lite)". More information is available at http://www.sgmltools.org.