Re: Simplified DocBook

Subject: Re: Simplified DocBook
From: Megan Golding <mgolding -at- secureworks -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: 23 Sep 2002 14:45:20 -0400

On Mon, 2002-09-23 at 14:37, Bruce Byfield wrote:
> I've been developing my own simplified list of DocBook elements for an
> open source project.
> Now, the Docbook gurus have done the job for me:

I've used DocBook for almost 2 years now and have yet to fully
understand how Simplified DocBook helps. Can you enlighten me?

For those unfamiliar with DocBook, imagine merging the markup style of
HTML and Word or Frame styles. The result is a semantic markup language
that describes what the parts of a document mean instead of what they
should look like. DocBook is a markup definition aimed at technical

I see three benefits, but consider them marginal reasons for using
Simplified DocBook:

1. Simplified learning curve. The list of "all" elements is shorter in
Simplified DocBook. Don't confuse your users, that sort of thing.
However, I've referred many people to the online DocBook book at and, while most comment at all the
possible elements, few say it causes them problems in using DocBook.

2. Simplified stylesheet authoring. Because there are fewer parent/child
possibilities, you have fewer cases to "document" in your processing

3. Simplified authoring. Authoring tools that can list all possible
tags, based on context, will present a shorter, less-confusing list. I
use psgml mode in Emacs and imagine this benefit to be somewhat useful.

Why Simplified DocBook? What am I missing?


Megan Golding (mgolding -at- secureworks -dot- net)
SecureWorks, Inc.

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Simplified DocBook: From: Bruce Byfield

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