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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK: Re: linuxdoc to docbook migration

> / Douglas du Boulay <ddb@R3401.rlem.titech.ac.jp> was heard to say:
> | (1) The control file for the program caters for a huge variety of
> | alternative behaviour. A very large number of default options
> | are built into the program and these often have a redundant "command argument" 
> | which forces the required behaviour. In the original linuxdoc document I used 
> | the <sf> serif font tag to identify such default command arguments. 
> | I am hoping there will be a more apropriate docbook alternative to highlight
> | user commands which are defaults.
> Can you provide a little more context? I'm not sure what sort of
> commands you mean.

An XTAL example of mine. There is a subprogram ADDREF which works 
with irel, frel or f2rl data. "frel" is the default data type so the two commands 


work identically.
I would like a <command> notation that reflects that "frel" is a 
default/redundant/built-in option, which could ultimately be rendered in some
special font/face/colour/type. 

A unix man page example. The command 
enscript -1 ....
creates a postscript file from a text file with 1 column per page.
The option "-1" is redundant, being the default (between -1, -2 ... . 
But is there a <command> tag wich denotes "-1"  as the  default optional argument?

> | (2) (i) to get html superscripts and subscripts for both footnotes, table
> For footnotes, you should switch to the <footnote> element that will provide
> the marks for you automatically.

That would look and work much better I'm sure :-)

> |         footnotes (e.g. [<sup>1</sup>]) and mathematical notation
> |          (e.g. [F<sup>2<sup>]), I abused the linuxdoc.dtd <f></f> notation.  
> |          (remapped as [])
> For mathematics, it's a little harder. If all you need are sub and
> superscripts, you can use subscript and superscript.
> |     (ii) I also had to abuse the  [] notation to get greek symbols in 
> |         the body of the text e.g. [&alpha;] .
> I'm not sure what you mean by [] notation.

Sorry I mean the <f></f> inline formula notation - (remapped as [])

Items originally denoted as [F<sup>2<sup>] are not strictly equations or formulae, 
but are still mathematical entities in the text.  So just replacing it with
F<superscript>2</superscript> is technically incorrect because if this were
to go to print in book form -at some point in the future,
the "F" should be in some mathematical italic font.

To change it to "F<superscript>2</superscript>" I have lost information.
To go to 20 lines of MathML markup for each instance seems an incredible 
amount of overkill. 

What to do? what to do? Is there a half way house somewhere?
Some temporary <inline-partial-formula> placeholder to enable complete
conversion to MathML at some point in the future, while rendering as italic
text in the present?
What is the absolute minimum amount of <inline-equation>.. info needed to
get an italic superscript text representation for such a simple notation?

And are there any problems with just dropping the odd iso-entity &alpha; 
into the body of the text (I'm probably wrong but I don't thing greek 
mathematical characters get italicised in general)?

> Ah. Yes. There is a lot of math. Hmm...historically, DocBook hasn't
> allowed text for math (we were waiting for someone to standardize math
> markup :-). But a lot of your equations appear to be greek letters,
> sub and superscripts, and a few other symbols. No reason why that
> couldn't be text. This adds weight to the argument in favor of adding
> text as an alternative in inline equations and equations.
>                                         Be seeing you,
>                                           norm

How do the "professionals" deal with this? Has Docbook never been used by 
O'Reilly to publish scientific texts? I thought that was the whole point?

Thanks again for your help 
Doug (in puzzlement)

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