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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] GSoC 2011 project idea: DocBook Slides 5.0

Hi Jan,

thanks for your extensive comments, indeed, I haven't explained thoroughly the objectives.

> The question is, if it still has something to do with 'Docbook'.
> A new schema doesn't have to share any docbook element either (though it
> would allow to reuse XSLT). But I agree that Docbook-slides sound more sexy
> than yet-another-noname-slides schema. I think the presentation area is very
> general topic with many specific requirements. We should consider carefully
> what should be the goal. Simple presentations? Ok. Complex ones? None of us
> is probably professional in this area to be able to cover everything
> necessary (exams, quizzes, text-to-speech, SCORM/AICC stuff). Do we need yet
> another simple but incomplete slides schema? Are we willing to invest a huge
> effort into quasi-professional one? Or do we prefer core docbook
> functionality? ;-)
1, It is meant to be a presentation for speeches, so not for exams, 
quizes, etc.

2, It should be Docbook-like so that existing DocBook users could easily 
learn it and also for easier information interchange with DocBook 
documents. I'll give you examples below. In some areas it may have more 
limited features when something from articles/books isn't applicable to 
presentations. Yet it may go behind standard DocBook and provide 
specific features for presentation-specific functionality.

3, It should also use the same technologies (XML, RELAX NG and XSLT) so 
that the same toolset could be used.

4, The XSLT stylesheets should be extended for basic rendering features.

In general, we can say it is meant to be an up-to-date and more advanced 
variant of the original DocBook Slides schema.

Think of the following use cases:

1, You write a thesis, a PhD dissertation or a scientific work, which 
later you will have to defend or present in front of a committee. You 
use DocBook for the article because you are already familiar with it and 
you can just customize the rendering with the XSLT parameters so that 
the document meets the formatting standards you are supposed to conform 
to. But later you have to make the slides for the defence. There are 
lots of things to reuse, like the list of objectives, screenshots or 
diagrams, which say something about your work, the table which 
summarizes the progress, etc. You can just pull these in to your 
presentation and use the same toolset to build the document. This was my 
case. I wrote my BSc thesis in DocBook 5.0 but then I just quickly made 
a ppt presentation in Powerpoint because there were no tools to reuse 
anything from my DocBook sources.

2, You have a software product with extensive documentation in DocBook. 
You are giving a speech about this product and have to tell about the 
major characteristics. Again, there are lots of things that you can 
reuse from the documentation, like list of main features, screenshots, 
which show the GUI, charts, tables, etc., maybe some bibliography 
entries or links about the software.

So in short, this schema would be a DocBook-like slides schema, which 
would be easy to use together with standard DocBook and easy to learn 
for DocBook users. It should be complete in that sense that it should 
support as many DocBook elements as possible and it should be flexible 
in presentation-specific features, as well, but for now, it is not meant 
to be a quase-professional schema, yet this does not mean that in later 
versions such features cannot be added. As you also said, these areas 
require quite specific knowledge. I'd focus more on having a good 
foundation with the above goals so that people can start using it with 
their DocBook documentation set. More advanced features may be added 
later, this may even be project ideas for upcoming SoC projects. :)
> Also a support in WYSIWYG editors should be mentioned (the only solution for
> non techie end-users). While docbook-based slides (my approach) can be used
> instantly, any 'exotic' schema has to be configured first (until it is
> widely spread and adopted).
Yes, this is true, indeed. Although I'm a purist and I prefer seeing the 
XML markup and work directly with it, I acknowledge its importance. But 
again, I'd like to have a well designed and complete schema in the terms 
explained above and later look at WYSIWYG editors.


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