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Subject: Modular doc processing model

Following up on the modular DocBook proposals so far, I'd like to seek 
clarification on  processing expectations of assembly elements.

My first impression is that an assembly element would be preprocessed to 
resolve all resources, with the result being a valid DocBook XML document 
with all the content pulled in, profiled, and relationships resolved.  That 
resolved document would then be fed into a second process using a DocBook 
stylesheet for rendering.  Like profiling, these two phases could be 
pipelined, or they could be separated so the intermediate result can be 

At least, this is likely how I would handle assemblies.  This allows the 
assembly process to generate assembly errors, and then halt if necessary 
before passing the result to a formatting stylesheet, where likely many 
fallout error messages would result due to incomplete input.

If this is the processing model, then what happens when an assembly element 
contains more than one structure element after profiling?  One could imagine 
each structure being rendered as a separate output document.  But if one 
structure is intended for print and another for help, then they would likely 
need different handling in assembly and different stylesheets downstream.

Also, Larry's example has a tutorial structure referenced as module of the 
user.guide structure.  It isn't clear whether the tutorial is meant to be a 
separate output.  For that matter, the element name <assembly> implies *one* 
assembly, not multiple assemblies that are implied by multiple structures. 
Certainly this issue should be left to the processing application, where if 
you want just one output you pass in a parameter to specify the xml:id of 
the structure you want generated.  But is there a semantic explanation of 
what an assembly with multiple structures means?

Or we could say an assembly contains one structure, and any nested 
structures or alternative structures must exist elsewhere and be pulled in 
by reference as modules into the single structure in an assembly.

Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises

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