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Subject: Re: [docbook] Ruminations on the future of DocBook

On Fri, May 30, 2003 at 07:33:41PM +0100, Dave Pawson wrote:
> Another perspective on this is that they are (programming language 
> specific) extension elements?
> Which could be viewed as being out of scope of the base layer.
> Perhaps markup could be 'really semantic' if each language added its own 
> extensions and processing
>   (or mapping to common styling).
>   My question then is, would that level of semantic markup be valuable in 
> usage?

Um, isn't that the whole point of DocBook?  If that level of semantic
markup (which exists today), then why aren't people marking up their
class documentation with <literal> and <emphasis>?  (Or are they?)

> I have this nasty suspicion that many... some... a few
> users, chose docbook because:
>   1. Its XML (durable)
>   2. Produces HTML and print.
> and the elements used are to [some... large..] extent chosen based on the 
> output?
> I could be wrong.

I don't understand your concern.  Are you inferring that namespaced
extensions to DocBook *wouldn't* have a canonical display in HTML/Print?

If that's the issue, it's easily solvable.  The Scheme world won't 
accept an extension to the language without a reference implementation.
Extensions to DocBook could be adopted only when there's a schema,
XSLT customization layers, and documentation on the tags, content models
and extensions to the base format.

As a foundation vocabulary, DocBook and it's core stylesheets would
still be immensely useful: hard things like tables and chunking would
always be available via the core format.  


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