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Subject: Re: [docbook] SGML support

On Tuesday 21 December 2004 21:55, Frans Englich wrote:

> 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.

As the documentation coordinator for KDE, I believe I can speak for the 
project on this matter at least.

KDE has not used DocBook SGML for nearly 4 years.  Frans may be confused by 
the fact our toolchain and stylesheets install into a directory called 
"ksgmltools" but that's simply for historical reasons - we use exclusively 
the XML DTD.

Our XML customization layer is now very thin, restrictive only (we make no 
additions) and mostly geared towards providing structure for our i18n 
toolchain (some of our docs are translated into more than 50 languages.)   
So, a whole lot of fun and magic with parameter entities basically.  

We are inherently conservative about moving DTD's.  We must retain backwards 
compatibility for third party vendors, and providing a stable DTD for the 
documentation is just as important as maintaining binary compatibility for 
the code.  

Dropping SGML support would not IMHO be an issue for KDE, and even if it turns 
out it is, the existing versions won't cease to work the second a new one is 
released.  I do expect we will continue to use a DTD rather than schema, we 
simply have far more expertise available, but I see that a default DTD will 
still be provided, or we could generate one.  So nothing to see here folks, 
move along, and keep up the good work.

Lauri Watts
KDE Documentation: http://docs.kde.org
KDE on FreeBSD: http://freebsd.kde.org

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