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Subject: future of DocBook XML Schema (XSD)?

The DocBook Technical Committee is considering dropping the XML Schema version of DocBook in a future version 6. We would like to hear from any members of the DocBook community who would be affected by this change.

Let me be clear that this change is not on the horizon, but part of our long term planning. The DocBook TC takes great care in maintaining backwards compatibility on point releases because we know how much the DocBook community relies on stable sources. When DocBook rolls to a new major version number, we treat that as an opportunity to introduce changes that are not backwards compatible. The change from 4 to 5 was such. If we foresee such changes coming, we give the DocBook community very advanced notice to prepare for them.

We will continue to maintain the DocBook standard in RelaxNG with Schematron rules, and will continue to generate a compatible DTD.

However, the process of maintaining the XSD version of DocBook is proving burdensome because it cannot be completely generated by a conversion program, and requires manual tweaking. Because we are not sure if anyone is actually using the XSD version, we are wondering if this is worth the effort. If you are using it, or have tools that depend on XSD, please let us know.

You can reply directly to me if you don't want to discuss it on the mailing list.

Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises

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