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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK: SYSTEM identifier

On Fri, Jul 12, 2002 at 10:05:12AM -0400, Erik Price wrote:
> Hi,
> I am just writing my first DocBook document now, a simple technical 
> guide which uses the root element "book" (since it has a few "part"s and 
> "chapter"s and "section"s).
> I used the Fink utility to download DocBook, and am wondering out of the 
> many files that arrived in the package, which one of these I should use 
> as my SYSTEM identifier in my document type declaration.
> I have a file called /sw/share/xml/dtd/docbookx/4.1.2/docbookx.dtd, that 
> tells me the following:
> <!-- This is the driver file for V4.1.2 of the DocBook DTD.
>       Please use the following formal public identifier to identify it:
>       "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.1.2//EN"
>       For example, if your document's top-level element is Book, and
>       you are using DocBook directly, use the FPI in the DOCTYPE
>       declaration:
>       <!DOCTYPE book PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.1.2//EN"
>                      "http://www.oasis-
> open.org/docbook/xml/4.0/docbookx.dtd"
>                      [...]>
> But according to "DocBook: The Definitive Guide", XML DocBook documents 
> usually use the SYSTEM identifier and I don't see any mention of this.
> Maybe I'm just confused -- can anyone give me some advice?

You want to put the path to the docbookx.dtd file in
the system identifier.

You can specify the DTD in two ways, one that is only a
SYSTEM identifier, and one that has both PUBLIC
and SYSTEM identifiers (but which does not say 'SYSTEM'):

<!DOCTYPE book SYSTEM "system.identifier">
<!DOCTYPE book PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.1.2//EN" "system.identifier">

The second identifier in the PUBLIC version is the
system identifier.

The DOCTYPE example in the DTD uses a URL as the
system identifier:
That works too, but requires the DTD to be fetched
over the internet each time your document is processed.
Most people change that to a local pathname to

Hope this helps.


Bob Stayton                                 400 Encinal Street
Publications Architect                      Santa Cruz, CA  95060
Technical Publications                      voice: (831) 427-7796
Caldera International, Inc.                 fax:   (831) 429-1887
                                            email: bobs@caldera.com

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