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Subject: DocBook Charter

I reviewed Karl's notes on the last draft on which he commented and
the last charter that we reviewed and made a couple of very small
changes. (In fact, all I added was a sentence to the first paragraph
of the statement of purpose.)

I propose that we adopt the following charter today and forward it to
OASIS again for approval.


The name of this Technical Committee is the "OASIS DocBook Technical

Statement of Purpose

Almost all computer hardware and software developed around the world
needs some documentation. For the most part, this documentation has a
similar structure and a large core of common idioms. The community
benefits from having a standard, open, interchangeable vocabulary in
which to write this documentation. DocBook has been, and will continue
to be, designed to satisfy this requirement. For more than a decade,
DocBook has provided a structured markup vocabulary for just this

DocBook is now widely used in both commercial and Open Source
environments including Debian, Fedora, FreeBSD, GNOME,
Hewlett-Packard, IBM Linux Technology Center, KDE, Linux Documentation
Project, PHP, Red Hat, SUSE, Subversion, and Sun Microsystems, to
name just a few.

The DocBook Technical Committee is chartered to develop and maintain
the DocBook family of specifications and to continue to support its
ever growing user base. In particular, the XML and SGML DocBook
schemas, a suite of extension modules, and a simplified authoring
subset of DocBook. The Technical Committee plans to support a variety
of schema languages and may develop additional modules and derived
document types.

Scope of Work

The TC is engaged in evolving the suite of DocBook specifications. The
scope of DocBook is computer hardware and software documentation.
Broadly, this includes both print and online tutorial and reference
documentation as well as online help, user guides, exercises and other
ancillary forms of documentation.

This effort will deliver on the following goals:

    * Evolve DocBook beyond DTDs into modern schema languages.

    * Address issues and enhancement requests that have arisen from
      experience with real-world DocBook implementations.

    * Add support for features that were deferred from previous
      versions of DocBook.

Most requests for enhancement that are not motivated by a requirement
in computer hardware or software documentation are considered out of
scope. It is not a goal of the Technical Committee to expand the scope
of DocBook to include additional, unrelated problem domains.

List of Deliverables

The TC expects to update the DocBook family of specifications to
reflect issues and enhancements adopted by the TC. Our current
timeline for this evolution is:

Q4 2004

  * The DocBook SGML Document Type, V4.4
  * The DocBook XML Document Type, V4.4
  * Simplified DocBook, V1.1

Q1 2005

  * The DocBook EBNF Module, V1.3
  * The DocBook HTML Forms Module, V1.3
  * The DocBook MathML Module, V1.3
  * The DocBook SVG Module, V1.3

The TC is also engaged in an exploration of DocBook V5.0, a complete
reimplementation of DocBook in RELAX NG. This work is expected to
produce specifications that update, augment, or replace all of the
above. The TC expects to enter public beta testing sometime in 2005.

Additional documents may also be produced at the Committee's
discretion. The TC's intent is to pursue OASIS Standard status for
major DocBook revisions.


The primary audience for the final output of this TC is structured
documentation system architects, implementers, authors, and users.

Language of the TC

All business of the TC will be conducted in English.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>      | Most human beings have an almost
http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/ | infinite capacity for taking
Chair, DocBook Technical Committee | things for granted.--Aldous Huxley

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