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Subject: Too Strict Content Model for abstract?


currently, I've experienced some issues with the abstract element and
I'm wondering why it allows para elements only.

According to the reference documentation of DocBook 4 and 5 [see 1,2],
abstract is definied like this:

  abstract ::= (title?, (formalpara|para|simpara)+)

Well, for a short summary with only text, this is probably fine.
However, sometimes it is not enough.

Let's assume, you have written a nice tutorial or howto and have the
following summary in mind:

   In this chapter we learn:
   * how to download the xyz tool
   * how to configure and compile xyz
   * how to install xyz on your computer

With the current content modell, you can't do this:

      <para>In this chapter we learn:</para>
           <para>how to download the xyz tool</para>
           <para>how to configure and compile xyz</para>
           <para>how to install xyz on your computer</para>

So I'm wondering why abstract disallows block elements as its children.
There are probably other examples where abstract is too strict.

Historical reasons? Could/should we change that?

[1] http://www.docbook.org/tdg/en/html/abstract.html
[2] http://www.docbook.org/tdg51/en/html/abstract.html

    Thomas Schraitle

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