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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK: Announce: DocBook XML Schema

Norm, you wrote:

> For those of you who are interested, I've made a first crack at
> an XML Schema for DocBook. See
>   http://www.sun.com/software/xml/developers/docbook/

Are there any plans to eventually embed documenation -- that is,
element and attribute descriptions -- in the DocBook schema?

Do W3C XML schemas even have a formal mechanism for doing that?
(I know that some other schema types do.)

One of my hopes for schemas in general is that they will make it
easy for schema designers to embed element and attribute
descriptions -- that it will become common practice, really.

One obvious advantage is that end users can then use something
like your own DTDParse or Earl Hood's dtd2html to generate really
complete, human-readable documentation for a schema. Literally,
with the descriptions embedded, each user on his or her own could
generate the equivalent of the reference part of "DocBook: The
Definitive Guide" each time a new DocBook release came out.

But I think an even bigger advantage would be that the element and
attribute descriptions could potentially be accessed from within
applications, so that if an end user is using a validating editor
and trying to choose from the many element or attribute options
the schema allows them to use at a certain point in a document,
they can just use a pull-down menu or something to get a element
or attribute description to guide them in making the choice.

That would be a big, big help in making the XML authoring process
easier for new users -- especially with a DTD/schema that provides
as many choices as DocBook does.


  --Mike Smith

Michael Smith          mailto:smith@xml-doc.org
XML-DOC                http://www.xml-doc.org/

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