Re: Help with Docbook

Subject: Re: Help with Docbook
From: Jan Henning <henning -at- r-l -dot- de>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 19:20:55 +0200

- HTML is not strict.

In the sense that it is well defined, HTML is perfectly strict.

HTML may be strict in theory, in practice it isn't. XML is strict both in theory and in practice, as is DocBook.

XML was specifically
constructed to avoid that problem, which means that it is much easier
to contruct autmoated tools for processing XML (and, by extension,

There is simply no difference between an SGML based language and an XML
based language in this regard.

Again, this may be true in theory, but not in practice.

DocBook offers semantic structure for
documents because of its XML roots.

No, DocBook describes document structure semantics because it has a set of
elements that describe document structures. You do not need XML to do this.

Nowhere did I say you need XML. I only said that there is a conenction between the roots of DocBook and its features.

It is really important not to get these two things confused. Far too many
people read that you can do single sourcing with XML, then they read that
such and such a format uses XML, and conclude that if they adopt that format
they will automatically get single sourcing.

You're absolutely right. But is equally important not to confuse formatting mark-up such as Word (unstructured) FrameMaker or HTML with semantic mark-up such as DocBook. It is also important not spread the myth that it is easy to go from standard Word documents to usable XML.

Jan Henning

Jan Henning
Am Schlossberg 14, D-82547 Eurasburg, Germany

Phone: +49 700 0200 0700, Fax: +49 8179 9307-12
E-Mail: henning -at- r-l -dot- de, Web:


sourcing tool for FrameMaker that lets you easily publish your content
online. No macro language required!

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RE: Help with Docbook: From: Mark Baker

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