Re: Simplified DocBook

Subject: Re: Simplified DocBook
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 12:09:39 -0700

Megan Golding wrote:

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?

So far as I'm concerned, you've mentioned the main reasons. But I think our experiences may differ. I don't find these reasons marginal. If you're working in a group, or working over extended periods of time, a reduced set of elements is (at least for me) a tremendously useful organizing tool.

I suspect that many people already use a reduced set of tags, so Simplified DocBook is simply what most people want anyway.

As an aside, I suspect that DocBook would greatly benefit from a GUI that organized different elements in menus and sub-menus. Since there isn't one, a simplified version is easier to work with, for no other reason that it's less to remember.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

Experience RoboHelp X3! This new RoboHelp release combines single sourcing,
print-quality documentation, conditional text and much more, into the most
monumental release of RoboHelp ever!

Enhance, optimize and automate your FrameMaker-to-PDF workflow with TimeSavers:
Define all PDF features in your source FrameMaker files ONCE, distill MANY.
Bookmark Controller, Link Controller, UnBloat & more :

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Simplified DocBook: From: Bruce Byfield
Re: Simplified DocBook: From: Megan Golding

Previous by Author: Simplified DocBook
Next by Author: Re: Simplified DocBook
Previous by Thread: Re: Simplified DocBook
Next by Thread: Re: Simplified DocBook

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads