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Subject: Re: [docbook-tc] DocBook for Commercial Publishing (expanding our world view)

Hi Scott,
Actually, there is something in our charter about it:
"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."


Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises
DocBook Consulting

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Scott Hudson" <scott.hudson@flatironssolutions.com>
To: "DocBook Technical Committee" <docbook-tc@lists.oasis-open.org>
Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 7:58 AM
Subject: [docbook-tc] DocBook for Commercial Publishing (expanding our 
world view)

> All,
> According to TDG, "DocBook is a very popular set of tags for describing
> books, articles, and other prose documents, particularly technical
> documentation."
> Unless there is something specific in our charter that says we should
> only consider tech pubs features when adding or modifying the DocBook
> standard, I'd really like to see us (the TC) approach new RFEs with a
> broader perspective, specifically commercial publishing.
> You already are aware that O'Reilly has created a "DocBook Lite" variant
> in order to publish their document. They are not alone, and in fact, we
> do business with a number of large-scale commercial publishers at
> Flatirons. There are some issues with the current element set, that
> force us to create variants of DocBook in order to support commercial
> publishing needs, rather than being able to create valid subsets.
> As for new features to support commercial publishing, here is a short
> list of items I've been considering adding as RFEs to DocBook:
> 1. Add a new <periodical> element to support regularly published
> material, such as a Magazine or Journal issue, blog, newsletters, and
> even topic, if that should also be added to DocBook. The <periodical>
> element will be a sibling of <book> and <article>. A whole new blog tool
> and infrastructure could be supported with the use of <periodical> and
> <topic>, assuming that <topic> were allowed to contain <section>. Of
> course, the same could be done with <article> as a child of <periodical>.
> I think periodical was submitted and rejected back in March
> (https://sourceforge.net/tracker/?func=detail&atid=384107&aid=1440204&group_id=21935),
> but it is rather clunky to think of a magazine or newsletter or journal,
> etc. as a "book" for containment.
> 2. Extend <set> to include <periodical> in order to publish or contain a
> series of this type of content.
> 3. Add <cover> element to <book> and <periodical> as an optional
> element. There are a lot of variations in the type of content that could
> be included in a cover, including title, cover image, jacket text
> (perhaps sidebar could be used for this), etc. Instead of putting all
> this in the info element, this separate element would provide a clear
> distinction of what content should be included in the cover for the
> particular publication.
> I bring these items up because I'm finding DITA to be rather unfriendly
> towards traditional commercial publishing. I think we could gain some
> very powerful allies if we were to focus a bit on the needs of
> commercial publishing rather than restrict our scope so narrowly to
> software and hardware documentation!
> Software and hardware documentation blocks and inlines should be a
> separate module available in DocBook 5, as well as other domain-specific
> modules. Perhaps periodical-specific blocks and inlines could be
> separate modules as well!
> From the recent traffic on the list, there appears to be a fair amount
> of backlash against adding topic, and a call to "stick with what DocBook
> is best at". I think focusing on the needs of commercial publishing will
> continue to grow the DocBook user base and opportunities for DocBook to
> be implemented.
> Thoughts?
> Best regards,
> --Scott

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