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From Norman Walsh <>
Subject Re: Documentation grammars, was:[Re: [RT] latest wonderings around W3C land and surroundings]
Date Sat, 01 Apr 2000 01:01:28 GMT
/ Stefano Mazzocchi <> was heard to say:
| Mike Pogue wrote:
| > Norman Walsh wrote:
| > > / Mike Pogue <> was heard to say:
| > > | 4) Most editors don't work with DocBook.  Sorry, but an emacs hack is
| > > | not
| > > |       sufficient.  Writers (and programmers) tend to stick with a single
| > >
| > > Hack? *sniff* :-)
| > 
| > No offense intended!  Just that if only one editor works with a

None taken, by the way. I forgot to say that in my first reply. :-)

| ???? the EMACS "hack" you're talking about talks SGML/XML... I can't see
| your point.

I took this comment to be in reference to my docbookide mode,
not psgml-mode.

| > If I'm a SHOE manufacturer, I'm not sure how much I'll have in common in
| > my documentation with a BICYCLE retail store.  Sure, there will be some,
| > but there are bound to be differences.

We're wandering a bit far afield here. All of the DTDs we're
discussing are ostensibly for the same purpose: software
documentation. (There's an element of modeling in some of the
DTDs that I don't claim to understand just yet.)

I don't know about shoe and bicycle manufacturers, but I'm pretty
confident that dress shoe and hiking boot manufacturers would
benefit from some common foundation.

| In OOP you are never forced to do something, as in XML. But while OOP
| has practices and design patterns that solidified over the years, XML
| does not (yet!).

With respect, XML has been around for more than 10 years. It
just had bad marketing. There are well understood design
practices and methodologies for DTD design (I'm not 100% sure
that schema design is exactly the same, but I think it will be

If you can find a copy of Maler and Andaloussi's book, buy it:

<biblioentry id="maler96">
  <title>Developing &SGML; &DTD;s</title>
  <subtitle>From Text to Model to Markup</subtitle>
      <surname>El Andaloussi</surname>
    <publishername>Prentice-Hall PTR</publishername>
      <city>Upper Saddle River</city>
      <state>New Jersey</state>

(It has, alas, gone out of print.)

| To me, it seems that "trying" hard to use DocBook (or a subset) instead
| of having different DTDs and stylesheets for every project it has
| _exactly_ the same reason as API and component creation: ineroperability
| and effort reuse.

Makes sense to me.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <>      | In science, "fact" can only mean                 | "confirmed to such a degree that
                                   | it would be perverse to withhold
                                   | provisional assent." I suppose
                                   | that apples might start to rise
                                   | tomorrow, but the possibility does
                                   | not merit equal time in physics
                                   | classrooms.--Stephen J. Gould

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