OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

docbook message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

Subject: Re: [docbook] alternative topic proposal

Let's not lose sight of the goal here.  Many people are already using 
DocBook markup in a modular authoring system, where individual pieces are 
saved in separate files and assembled into documents at processing time. 
This seems to be a growing trend.  Currently this is done using XInclude 
and existing DocBook elements, including section. None of that is going to 
go away.

Some people who do modular authoring are suggesting that we add a topic 
element that is more suitable than section for modularity. By definition, a 
topic is single-subject, relatively self-contained, and not written into a 
fixed sequence or hierarchy.

If we also introduce the idea of topicref, then we are adding new 
capabilities to DocBook to assemble these modules into sequences and 
hierarchies.  The difference from XInclude is that a topicref  is resolved 
by an XSLT process, so the assembly process can actively filter and fix 
content rather than just copy it into place. That's a big gain in modular 
processing, if you need it.

If we were just adding topic and making it like article, then I would agree 
that it isn't much of a gain over article. But including the capability of 
smart assembly adds considerable power to the system if you are writing in 
a modular fashion.  If you are not doing modular writing, then this change 
should have no effect on your current practices.

As to whether this should be left to individuals to implement as a local 
variant, that depends on the DocBook community.  In general, the DocBook 
Technical Committee's practice has been to try to accomodate something that 
a lot of people want.  A change that is too special purpose is usually not 
adopted. A change that is perceived to have wide use in the DocBook 
community has a better chance.

Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises
DocBook Consulting

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dave Pawson" <davep@dpawson.co.uk>
To: <docbook@lists.oasis-open.org>
Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 7:50 AM
Subject: Re: [docbook] alternative topic proposal

> Bob Stayton wrote:
>>> So what's the difference between a topic and an article then?
>> A topic and an article are semantically similar, in that they are both 
>> intended as standalone content.  But I would say that, semantically 
>> speaking,
> ....
> Isn't that the real problem?
> We seem to be viewing a topic quite differently, possibly even 
> differently to IBM topic users? I.e. we're all guessing how they will
> be used.
> The more I read on this thread, the less it seems to fit with more usual 
> docbook processing (which is where I see the
> work laying. More so than in the schema definitions).
> I'm moving towards the 'you want dita in docbook, go make a variant' 
> position.
> That way dita users can leverage docbook processing without offering new 
> and existing users
> yet another docbook variant.
> With db5 it's getting so easy, it's not as if it's asking much?
> //
> regards
> -- 
> Dave Pawson
> http://www.dpawson.co.uk
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail: docbook-unsubscribe@lists.oasis-open.org
> For additional commands, e-mail: docbook-help@lists.oasis-open.org

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]