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From "Ivelin Ivanov" <>
Subject Re: DocBook vs Open eBook
Date Tue, 04 Jun 2002 12:54:26 GMT

Good to know your opinion Stefano.

Obviously I don't have enough experience with maintaining Cocoon
documentation and I am not even a contributor to Forrest, so all my
suggestions have little merit, compared to the people that actually commit

DocBook has been bashed by other people as well.

Open eBook is using the Dublin Core standard as well as many XHTML tags.
It's intention is to allow authors to use markup which can be then rendered
on different devices, from PDAs to PCs to print. Some browsers will use all
the markup some will ignore it partially. The spec has guidelines for this.

Anyhow, I hate to distract people who are working hard to get Forrest going,
so I guess we can pick up this discussion later.

I agree that this is FAQ though, are you submitting your thoughts to Diana
for addition in the docs?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Stefano Mazzocchi" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 4:21 AM
Subject: Re: DocBook vs Open eBook

> Ivelin Ivanov wrote:
> >
> > Does someone know the difference between these two standards
> >
> >
> >
> > They both seem to have industry backing while at the same time overlap
> > a bit.
> >
> > Also, why don't we use one of these two for our documentation instead of
> > maintaining proprietary DTDs. There are tools on the market for WYWIWYG
> > editing of both of these standards, which can make doc writing easier.
> > of course there are XLSTs for rendering to media from XHTML to voxml to
> >
> > Regards,
> > Ivelin
> Ivelin,
> this is a FAQ. big time FAQ, I might say. And also, it's totally
> off-topic on the cocoon-dev list since forrest was created also to
> manage the DTD of the documentation (well, attempt to).
> Anyway, in one word: both docbook/openebook are more complex that what
> we need. We need to adapt the stylesheets anyway and the editing tools
> are focusing on a XML/CSS solution (not toward a hardcoded WYSIWYG
> experience) see XEE as an example.
> Finally, our DTD reuses HTML tagnames were possible.
> I hate this DTD debate because it becomes religious at some point, but
> my point is: proceed incrementally. In two years, this community (now
> handed over to forrest's) has managed the DTD in quite a successful
> manner. Very few changes were required, yet the documentation is pretty
> solid and complete in functionality.
> Docbook simply tries to be too many things at the same time, but mostly
> is a markup for books or collection of books. openebook is also a markup
> for books.
> The docbook stylesheets are so complex that there is a project to
> maintain them. Look at how easy (compared to the docbook stylesheets) it
> is to create a forrest skin.
> Would you want to impose the overhead of creating a skin for all the
> docbook/openebook tags on the skin authors?
> You might say: let's use only a subset (like almost everybody does), but
> then you are not using Docbook, but a proprietary subset of docbook (and
> maybe we ended up needing a feature that docbook doesn't have, so we are
> using an 'extended subset' of docbook).
> In short, I fear we'll end up not using docbook anyway.
> So, in the good old software darwinism patter: let's the DTD evolve with
> us. We already need the ability to include authoring metadata and we
> might use the dublin-core namespace for this. Docbook doesn't allow this
> (yet).
> Bah, I see almost no value in going standard with markup when we don't
> need to 'interoperate' with anybody and there is almost nothing we can
> reuse from the environments where more standard markup is used.
> --
> 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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