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From Kim Haase <Camilla.Ha...@Sun.COM>
Subject Feedback requested on proposed change to documentation format
Date Mon, 06 Oct 2008 14:39:07 GMT

I'd like to know what the Derby community thinks about the possibility 
of changing the source format of the Derby documentation from DITA to 
DocBook and using a different build system. DocBook is a schema that can 
use an XML DTD, like that of DITA; see http://www.docbook.org/ for more 

Our DITA toolkit has some problems that the Derby community hasn't been 
able to solve with our current level of resources:

- It does not allow us to create book indexes or to create live links 
between manuals. The feedback we've received is that this makes the 
documentation hard to use.
- Links to tables usually don't work in the PDF or HTML Book versions.
- Building the PDF and HTML Book versions of the docs causes errors and 
warnings that we can't seem to get rid of.

Conversion of the documentation source to DocBook would be a one-time 
task that I'd be willing to take on. I can also use an existing DocBook 
build system that, like the DITA toolkit, uses only freely available 
open-source tools. The only change is that it would need to convert from 
Gnu make to Ant to be compatible with the Apache license. The goal would 
be to make it no more difficult to build the documentation than it is 
today (and ideally easier). I would hope to complete the project for the 
next release of Derby (10.5).

Before I explore these possibilities further, I'd like feedback from the 
community. It seems that few people are currently working on the Derby 
documentation, but many of you are using it. I would be grateful for 
your thoughts.

Kim Haase

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