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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: Documentation grammars, was:[Re: [RT] latest wonderings around W3C land and surroundings]
Date Fri, 31 Mar 2000 22:08:42 GMT
Mike Pogue wrote:

> That's ironic!  We both agree here.  I'm suggesting that we reuse HTML,
> you're suggesting that we reuse DocBook.  (NOTE: I initially suggested
> Docbook, but
> I was voted down by technical writers and engineers alike, because in a
> contest
> between DocBook and HTML, HTML wins.  I have to agree that they have a
> point!  :-)

Interesting: XML was created as a way to overcome HTML limitations and
your document writers say HTML wins or a documentation-specific

There is clearly something wrong happening here.

> > Of course, this doesn't mean you cannot do your own direction, but doing
> > this you loose all the benefits of sticking with those interfaces and
> > the community that builds around them.
> Right, so stick with the HTML DTD, for those tags that can do so!  ;-)
> ;-)
> > Exactly like happens on programming languages, or all types of common
> > interfaces or paradigms.
> >
> > You know how much I'm obsessed by "forking" and "overlapping"... why?
> > because in the open source movement they don't represent "diversity",
> > they represent "waste of precious resources".
> Oooh.  You are heading away from the whole idea of the Bazaar here,
> which
> "resemble[s] a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and
> approaches".
> DocBook strikes me as "quiet, reverent cathedral-building".  (quotes are
> from the Cathedral and the Bazaar).

??? Norman is here and I'm sure that he'll be totally happy to discuss
publicly additions to the standard.
> Forking is not Bad.  It's not necessarily bad to "waste" some resources,
> as long
> as not all of your resources are wasted.  [Side note for Computer
> Science
> geeks:  note the analogy to hill climbing and simulated annealing
> algorithms, which
> require some "wasted" random effort to function well, or at all]

Forking is not bad? How about having two competing parsers under the
Apache XML project? how happy would you be with that?
> > This is my humble opinion.
> >
> > > > | Stylebook (and Cocoon) are interesting to me, because they do NOT force
> > > > | an intermediate representation (or, at least they didn't in the past).
> >
> > I find this unfair and utterly offensive.
> >
> > The Cocoon project was created with _no_ absolute whatsoever knowledge
> > about the DTD that is being processed and _there_ is no absolute way we
> > can force one DTD to be the only one recognized. The Cocoon architecture
> > was _designed_ to be abstracted and it's power is and will always remain
> > its abstraction.
> >
> > If you believe we can possibly think about changing this, it's easier
> > that you say that I'm a total idiot, because that is what your sentence
> > meant to me.
> Sorry, didn't mean it that way.  IMHO, both Stylebook and Cocoon are
> dangerously
> close to having an "Official DTD".  My evidence?  How many alternate
> DTD's do we
> have?  Few. How many site styles do we have?  Few.  And, all the styles
> that we do
> have look pretty much alike (hierarchical nav bar on the left,
> composited banner at
> the top, copyright at the bottom, etc.)  I'd say that's strong evidence
> that we don't have
> ENOUGH diversity, ENOUGH randomness, and ENOUGH wasted energy, and we
> probably have
> too much Cathedral building going on here.
> By the way, Zope appears to have the same exact problem.  All the Zope
> sites look very similar.
> What does that tell us about Zope?  (And, by analogy, Stylebook and
> Cocoon?)

The whole thing is clearly getting too religious to be resolved: you
like one DTD, I like another.

Well, this arguing is pointless.

But don't worry, we will _NOT_ impose any DTD on this project or to any
other. How could we possibly do that?

Of course, we'll vote to choose one for our docs and we'll write the
skins for it. But we will _NEVER_ limit the ability to Cocoon/stylebook
to that single DTD and we are committed to include in the distribution
all the skins/DTD that the different projects can produce.

There are no reasons to do otherwise.

I believe a more powerful DTD is needed, you don't. That's it. 

It's the same old "VI vs. Emacs" tune and doesn't help anyone because
there's room for both.

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
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