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Subject: DOCBOOK: metadata

The DocBook Tech Committee would like your input on a couple of
issues related to metadata.

HP (like everyone else?) is beginning to create and manage chunks
of DocBook at levels below the section element.  For example,
we're creating procedure and example elements that we'd like to
manage separately from any higher-level elements that use them.
Any chunks we manage separately need to allow associated metadata.

Except for some of the common attributes, however, the primary
DocBook containers for metadata are the *info elements, such as
sectioninfo, which holds metadata for a section element.  But the
*info elements are not allowed in elements below the section

(1) So the first question is: how should we associate metadata
with elements below the section level?  Should we do an element-
by-element review and add an info-like container to the ones that
need it?  Should we add some kind of pointer to or from separate

(2) Second, as long as we're talking about metadata, should we do
anything to rationalize metadata in DocBook?

To hold metadata, DocBook evolved with a bag-o-tags allowed in the
*info elements, a handful of common attributes, plus other
miscellaneous attributes on selected elements (such as the 'status'
attribute on sections).  Should we keep such an arrangement with
some tweaks, such as additional attributes or elements?  Should we
sync up with something like the Dublin Core (http://dublincore.org)
or PRISM (http://www.prismstandard.org/)?  Should we allow different
external metadata modules like Dublin Core or PRISM to be included
as customizations? . . .

The DocBook Tech Committee would like your input on these two issues.

- Michael Sabrio
  OASIS DocBook Technical Committee
  Hewlett Packard

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