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Subject: RE: [docbook] Bold text for v5?

This is a common question among users new to DocBook, since most people's previous experience is with presentation oriented systems which are designed to manipulate the appearance of the output directly.  The design center for DocBook is to provide mechanisms that allow us to identify what the content IS rather than how it should appear.  Thus, the markup says that we want to emphasize the text, rather than that we want to make the text bold.  This is an important difference in concept.  In answer to your question, yes, that is how bold is typically indicated in DocBook, at least for languages that use small sets of characters for alphabets (some ideographic Asian languages prefer other representations for strong emphasis and do not generally use italics for emphasis, either).

Emphasis with a role of strong is sometimes automated in the editing environment by providing a macro binding to a key combination or to a button in the editor that will automatically add the tag when it is used.  Exactly how depends on the editing environment -- oXygen provides buttons for bold, italics, and underline in the Author mode; in EMACS people are free to create their own key-bindings and many jealously guard the ability to do so.  You are also free to bind the emphasis tag to whatever font enhancement you choose, although it limits portability to wander too far from the processing expectations for stock DocBook.

Your last question is somewhat ambiguous.  If there is a specific bold for each font, then transforms should select appropriately for the font in use; if there are multiple weights of the font available, it would most likely be mapped onto different values for the role attribute (which would, of course, limit the portability of the document, since your unique values of role would be unknown in other transform environments).

DocBook shines at producing documents where the rules for production are well understood -- fonts are based on what is being presented (is it code, is it body text, is it an extended quotation, is it a heading) and the spacing and layout are standard for what is being dealt with (do chapters always begin on a right-hand page or just at the top of a page or can they begin anywhere on a page, what is the font for the heading  of a first level section, how much space is there before an ordered list begins, what symbol is used for the second level of items in an itemized list).

  Is this the correct way to do bold text for v5?

<emphasis role="strong">text to be bold<emphasis>

you tag both bold and italic text with the emphasis tag and add an  
attribute of strong to bold in the structure pane?)
Is there a way to map a bold character style to do this automatically  
for long books?
What if you have several bold styles for different fonts?

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