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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK: Any suggestions for a GOOD XML reference?

I'm no DTD expert but I think maybe what you are missing is some basic 
XML terminology.  I'll tell you what I think the following means and try 
to show you how to understand in general the DTD.

Jeff Biss wrote:
> I am learning XML while using the docbook DTD and really need a good 
> reference. For example, I have "DocBook: The Definitive Guide" and "XML 
> Bible" that do not provide information about the following DTD constructs:
> <!ENTITY % local.list.class "">
> When I go through the various modules in the docbook DTD I cannot figure 
> out where "class" comes from or what "local.list.class" actually means.

The meaning of 'class' is a grouping.  'list.class' means the group of 
elements that are lists.  the ENTITY syntax means that used here means 
that the 2nd argument (local.list.class) with a preceding '%' and a 
following ';' should be replaced where it occurs in the DTD with the 3rd 
argument ("", an empty string).

The line following the one you provided in the DTD is:

<!ENTITY % list.class
		|simplelist|variablelist %local.list.class;">

This entity means that '%list.class;' should be replaced with the string 
that follows.  Notice this string includes '%local.list.class';, which 
would be replaced with the entity you mentioned.  So the point of 
'local.list.class' is for customization.  If you wanted to add elements 
to 'list.class' then you can just add them to 'local.list.class' in a 
customization layer and not worry about copying all the other elements 
already in 'list.class'.  'local' here stand for 'local customization'.

> Can someone please provide what they consider a good reference that 
> explains what is going on in the docbook (XML programming in general)?

http://xml.coverpages.org/xmlIntro.html contains a number of links to 
intro XML documents, but it seems you are more interested in DTDs.  I 
suggest a google search for "DTD Tutorial" (in quotes)

Although it can be quite dry I would recommend eventually reading the 
XML spec at http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml.  It also fully describes DTDs 
for XML, which makes it a handy reference.

Devin Bayer  -  http://elektrono.com/contact
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
                -- Mark Twain

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