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Subject: Announce: DocBook V5.1b2

Hello world,

I'd have sworn I sent this message last month, but there's no record
of it. I guess that mean's I'd be swearing in vain. In any event, last
month I released DocBook V5.1 beta 2, one of a series of experimental
releases that will take place as we evaluate V5.1.

For more information, see http://norman.walsh.name/2010/07/27/docbook51b2

For the schemas and documentation, see http://docbook.org/

Here's a quick summary:

The star feature of DocBook V5.1 is support for "topic-based"
documentation. At a minimum, that means we'll be adding a new
component-level element with the semantically neutral name “topic” and
providing some mechanism for composing topics.

Deciding to use <topic> makes a statement about the kind of
documentation that you're building. Although you can make a <book> of
topics, you can't mix topics willy-nilly amongst the more traditional
narrative elements.

Topics by themselves aren't especially useful, to reap the real
benefits of the topic-based authoring paradigm, you must be able to
reuse them, to compose them together into new modules or structures
(be they books, help systems, web sites, or what-have-you).

For this purpose, DocBook V5.1 introduces the <assembly>. Assemblies
are the mechanism by which authors can compose topics (or, in fact,
other narrative elements) together. My XML Prague presentation,
Automating Document Assembly in DocBook explored one toolchain for
processing assemblies. I've only just now realized that I never
published that anywhere else.

Tools support for topic-based authoring in DocBook is under active
development, as is the schema itself. I'll be presenting DocBook V5.1
at XML 2010 in Philadelphia this October.

Questions, comments, etc., most welcome on the DocBook mailing list.

Changes in DocBook V5.1b2

Here's a quick summary of the changes in DocBook V5.1b2 as compared to
the official DocBook V5.0 schema, in case you're interested in the
gory details.

    * Fixed RFE 1679665 Add better support for modular documentation
    * Fixed RFE 1722935 Add a proofreader value to the class attribute
      for <othercredit>
    * Fixed RFE 1770787 Add <givenname> as an alternative for <firstname>
    * Fixed RFE 1899655 Allow more elements to be the root of a DocBook document
    * Fixed RFE 2100736 Allow <constant> in <initializer>
    * Fixed RFE 2791288 Added several additional elements, including
      <quote>, to the ubiquitous inlines
    * Fixed RFE 2820190 Add a <topic> element
    * Fixed RFE 2821653 Remove the constraint that <indexterm>
      elements must not appear in <footnote>s
    * Fixed RFE 2907124 Allow personal name components directly in <bibliomset>.
    * Fixed RFE 2907125 Allow all inlines in <remark>
    * Fixed RFE 2907131 Allow <simplesect> in <colophon>
    * Fixed RFE 2964576 Fix the bug that allowed <table> to appear inside <entry>

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>      | Time is a great teacher, but
http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/ | unfortunately it kills all its
Chair, DocBook Technical Committee | pupils.-- Berlioz

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