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Subject: Re: [docbook] RE: Sections and topics

This discussion is of great interest to the DocBook Technical Committee, as we are 
currently developing a DocBook solution for modular content.  I believe most of the 
problems that have been mentioned here will be addressed.

The first step toward modular content was the introduction of the topic element, which 
will debut in DocBook 5.1.  A topic element is meant as a standalone module of 
content, ready to be assembled into larger documents.  Its structure is similar to 
section.  The placement of topic within existing DocBook elements like book and 
chapter is not very important, as those will serve primarily as storage boxes for 
topic elements to be assembled.

The other addition in 5.1 will be the assembly element and its descendant elements 
like structure, resource and module.  An assembly is similar to a DITA map, in that it 
contains a set of pointers that define the content and structure of the assembled 
document, but not the content itself.  But a DocBook assembly is quite different from 
a DITA map in many ways.

One of the features will be an option to include content without including the wrapper 
element, which permits you to avoid duplicate ID values in an assembled document. 
Another is the renderas attribute, which allows you to convert a topic to a chapter, 
appendix, or section as needed, or vice-versa.

You can expect to soon see public announcements regarding release of the new schemas 
in beta form for testing, as well as some documentation and tools for processing.

Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <rob.cavicchio@emc.com>
To: <Kate.Wringe@sybase.com>; <docbook-tc@lists.oasis-open.org>; 
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2010 1:50 PM
Subject: [docbook] RE: Sections and topics

Kate.Wringe@sybase.com [mailto:Kate.Wringe@sybase.com] wrote:

Here's the problem that I am increasingly running into: We have a <section> in one 
book that we want to reuse as a <chapter> in another book and vice versa.

This does not solve your immediate issue, but I think that the time has really come to 
allow <section> at any level. The whole chapter vs. section thing is very 
static-book-oriented and does not lend itself well to information reuse.

Rob Cavicchio
Principal Technical Writer & Information Architect
EMC Captiva
Information Intelligence Group
EMC Corporation
3721 Valley Centre Drive, Ste 200
San Diego, CA 92130

P: (858) 320-1208
F: (858) 320-1010
E: rob.cavicchio@emc.com

The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not 
read or approved in advance by EMC and does not necessarily reflect the views and 
opinions of EMC.

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