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Subject: Re: [docbook] An apology and some minor revelations

Daniel Veillard wrote:

> On Sun, Jul 13, 2003 at 04:35:04PM +0200, Tobias Reif wrote:
>>Any independent entity (eg a group of develppers, OS/distro vendors, or 
>>any commercial company) could offer a toolchain setup ("system") or even 
>>a one-click installer plus GUI interface, or a full-blown WYSIWYG editor 
>>offer everything any tool collection could offer.
>   Okay, who does except some commercial entities at the moment ?

Not many really, that's why I wrote "could".

>>I firmly believe that the DocBook TC should concentrate exclusively on 
>>developing the language (specs, schemas), and leave the tasks of 
>>implementing the language (creating tools, toolchain setups and 
>>installations, the "system") to others.
> then this can be another group. 

Yes, for example. That's my whole point (that if there must be one 
central committee concerned with setup and installation rules etc, it 
should not be the TC (the group which develops the language)).

>>For me, the "system" is the loose network of independent entities (TC, 
>>developers, users, vendors, etc). Only if the workload is distributed 
>>redundantly across separate and independent entities can DocBook as a 
>>whole continue to flourish, IMHO. I prefer an open democratic community 
>>even with all it's complex challenges over a single-entity "simple" 
> Well well, you prefer it, depends who are you trying to serve. I will note
> that projects like Gnome, are targetting end-users, have come with large
> software base deployement, are using an open democratic process but are still
> able to define a platform and a system. This is doable !

Sure, why not (ther are rule in democracies after all). As long as it's 
not one single entity developing both the language and the tools, and as 
long as variety, competition, choice, collaboration, and progress are 
supported, respected, and encouraged, I'll be happy to watch and perhaps 
support some effort along the lines of what you're suggesting.

You might want to describe your suggestion in more detail, so that 
misunderstandings can be avoided. I think I might have a partly 
incorrect impression, so it would help to know what exactly it is what 
you're proposing.

>>Having the TC take care of everything from language to the complete 
>>toolchain and installation would mean less competition (which generally 
>>is know to be *worse* for end-users), and a single potential point of 
> You neglect the fact that defining a platform doesn't stop developping
> concurrent tools which may get better in the end and be in the platform
> at the next release.

I didn't neglect that possibility (it would depend on details you didn't 
provide). I just don't think it's the job of the TC to do everything, 
for the various reasons I described.

> If there is little interest, then I agree there
> would be little compatition, but having at least a suggested system 
> will also bring more people to DocBook. You seem to believe that defining
> a system can only be detrimental,

Without knowing what exactly you're suggesting I can only take guesses, 
and comment on potential issues (sure certain strategies could be 
detrimental). If you are aware of those potential issues, and agree with 
my me that thery are be addressed, then everything's cool AFAICS.

> I can see a number of open-source
> developments groups where this was the basis for their success...
> In the extreme why do you want to even standardize the grammar then, see
> there are good reasons to try to define a common ground,

But I don't think that it equally and fully and always applies to 
software in the same way it applies to languages, protocols, and 
formats. (Software implements standards, but the implementation itself 
doesn't have to be standardized; tools still can talk to each other.)

> and this applies to software as well as to syntax.

So you want to "standardize [DocBook] software". I have no idea what 
that could mean. Can you elaborate? XSLT processors implement a standard 
(a W3C rec). DocBook software does stuff like conversion to HTML; I 
don't think that can or should be standardized, there are many different 
correct ways to do that conversion (as long as the output follows the 
relevant standards). Standardizing a default setup (a catalog, perhaps 
some file locations, etc) for a certain set of popular DocBook tools 
might be a good idea. Is that what you mean?



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