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Subject: Potential Feature Request: Optional Container Elements in book, divisions

One of the things that's always annoyed me about DocBook is that it 
lacks a provision for organizing containers in a number of places where 
I normally like to have them (and where they make a number of things 
easier, including authoring, formatting, and so on).

In particular, I like to organize top-level documents into front, body, 
appendixes, backmatter, and so on. In addition, I prefer to have 
explicit containers around introductory material that precedes nested 
sections. DocBook provides no mechanism to create either of these.

I would like to propose new features to address this but I want to make 
sure I'm not bringing up something that has already been considered and 
rejected. Unfortunately, the OASIS mail archives are essentially useless 
for doing historical research (unless I've missed a search feature or 
more comprehensive thread index).

My proposals would be along the lines of:

- within book, provide an optional content model path something like:

      (appendixes |
       backmatter)*) |
     (...existing body content model options)))

- Within divisions, provide something like an optional "divintro" 
element as an alternative to the optional "all blocks" choice in the 
current content models). Provide similar options in all contexts where 
an optional OR group of blocks is provided before the core content of 
the parent construct.

Have proposals like this been considered in the past? If so, can someone 
summarize the discussion or point me to the relevant archives?


W. Eliot Kimber
Professional Services
Innodata Isogen
9390 Research Blvd, #410
Austin, TX 78759
(214) 954-5198


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