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Subject: Re: [docbook] SGML support

On Tue, 2004-12-21 at 14:55, Frans Englich wrote:
> On Monday 20 December 2004 21:58, Norman Walsh wrote:
> > At the DocBook TC meeting this month, I took an action to point out
> > that our current plans for DocBook V5.0 will probably have less
> > support for SGML than the current DocBook V4.x line.
> >
> > Our plan of record is to work with a RELAX NG schema from which we
> > will generate a W3C XML Schema and an XML DTD. The DTD is not likely
> > to have much in the way of parameterization. It's going to be a
> > "compiled" product much more than a "source" product. This is a
> > consequence of the fact that we're taking advantage of some of the
> > expressive power of RELAX NG. The DTD will be significantly "looser"
> > than the schema.
> >
> > The current 4.X line only supports SGML in a few small ways: it
> > supports some forms of tag minimization and a few inclusions and
> > exclusions. It's not clear to me that there's value in trying to
> > preserve this support in the V5.0 line.
> >
> > The TC would very much like the community's feedback on these plans.
> KDE, one of the desktop environments, uses Docbook heavily for all application 
> documentation(help browsers and so forth). The current system have been there 
> for long and leans towards SGML.
> While I don't speak for KDE, I personally see clear obstacles because of not 
> using XML, and there is a pressure towards XML. KDE is soon to start a new 
> major version(binary compatibility is broken and other large changes), and if 
> Docbook 5.0 arrived in a suitable timeframe, KDE would probably start the 
> major work of switching, I estimate.
> >From my perspective, I do not at all mind dropped SGML support, and welcome 
> the new Docbook version. Also, it wouldn't hurt if it didn't take too long to 
> arrive.


I'm curious which SGML features KDE is using, and what processing tools
you're using for your DocBook.  We dropped SGML support in Gnome about a
year ago, so this is potentially a serious interchange issue, especially
if we ever standardize on a single help system.


The officially supported version of DocBook for Gnome is still 4.1.2,
although most 4.2 and 4.3 features will work.  I'm trying to push our
documents to a newer version, mostly because we want to use xrefstyle. 

Assuming 5.0 is similar to "DocBook NG", Gnome could probably support it
within one release cycle after the 5.0 release.  I strongly favor the
RELAX NG approach, and I'll be pushing all of our documents towards this
just as soon as there's an official release.

I think I can speak for Gnome when I say, "Go Norm!"


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