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docbook message

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Subject: docbook: about paragraphs, cross-references, indexes

Docbook is huge and comprehensive, but to my eyes there are some very simple
things which could be better. I am, by experience, prepared to bet that it's
my eyes and brain which are wrong. I have phrased what follows as
suggestions, but I fully expect to be corrected.

1) <para>  has no concept of thematic break, meaning they are all formatted
the same way; in the O'Reilly DocBook, paras are divided by white space. I
would like to see an attribute allowing the author to indicate the
importance of the theme change, so that one kind of para might get
new-line-plus-indent, as in novels and newspapers, another would give one
line of white space as it does now, another a big chunk of white space, and
so on

2) Index terms which are not ranges go into the text, like this:

The Tiger<indexterm>
<primary>Big Cats</primary>
is a very large cat indeed.  

If I have multiple tigers, I repeat the whole index term each time. What
about an index entry with an id= to which I can refer in the text? Shorter
and easier to maintain - if I want 'Tigers' to become a primary, it only
changes in one place.

3) why can't you request a page reference from xref?

Roy Gardiner
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