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Subject: DOCBOOK: Re: On the size of DocBook...

• From: Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>
• To: Adam Turoff <ziggy@panix.com>
• Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 19:03:49 -0400

```/ Adam Turoff <ziggy@panix.com> was heard to say:
|On Fri, Sep 06, 2002 at 05:14:18PM -0400, Norman Walsh wrote:
|> Quite. Hard that is. And it would introduce N! different "DocBooks".
|> How easy would that be to explain?
|
|I thought it would be difficult.  How would I explain N! DocBook DTDs?
|Well, they're all subsets of the main DocBook DTD.  :-)

Suppose there are subsets A, B, and C of DocBook, D. You might want

D
A
A + B
A + C
A + B + C
B
B + C
C

Actually, now that I consider more closely, I guess it's (N-1)! because
if A is the core then we'd really get:

A
A + B
A + C
A + B + C

it wouldn't make sense to have B or C w/o A and presumably D is A + B + C.

| I suspect it wouldn't be difficult at all.  Most of that work is
| already done in TDG.  Identifying the most important core 25-50
| elements might be a little tricky,

I tried to identify the core 25-50 elements, I wound up with more than 100.
Start with 'article' as the only root and give it a whirl.

| but identifying the 25-50 related
| tag groups (<gui...>, <func...>) shouldn't be *that* hard.  :-)

If the sets must be strictly non-overlapping, that's going to be
tough. If they're allowed to overlap, that's harder to customize.
|
| Basically, there are a bunch of people who understand HTML and the
| idea behind XML that still find the concepts behind DocBook too
| daunting.

Which concepts of DocBook would be made simpler by the modularity you
suggest?

| Most of the hard issues *are* editorial.  I don't use authoring
| tools, but I'd expect that someone who wants to use a particular
| 75 elements that describe the content in their document want to
| necessarily ignore the other 325 or so that aren't useful.

How does having them in the DTD have any bearing, though?

| I don't know about that.  Structured authoring with a 14 element DTD
| doesn't really compare to structured authoring with a 100 or a 400
| element DTD.  People know how to use HTML now, and the good ideas behind
| XML are rather well entrenched.

HTML has a good deal more than 14 elements, even if most people don't
use most of them. Which is sort of the point, I think.

Be seeing you,
norm

--
Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>      | There is no spoon.
http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/ |
Chair, DocBook Technical Committee |
```

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