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From Troy Poppe <>
Subject [ RE: XML documentation]
Date Wed, 21 Jul 1999 18:37:40 GMT
I don't know if everyone is on this list or not, so I'll post this here.

This came off the Apache JServ mailing list.

----- Forwarded message from Steve Dierker <> -----

	I started the XML doc effort for EJBoss.
	Schemas were considered but not pursued for a number of reasons:

1) Schemas are an evolving standard (latest w3c working draft is just
6 May 99) whereas XML/DTD was a w3c recommendation back on 10 Feb 98.

2) As a result of (1) there are a number of adequate tools for working with
XML with DTDs but very few (yet) for working with Schemas.

3) The DocBook DTD is very comprehensive and flexible (many would say
too much so ;) and is well established for technical documentation, being
used by Sun, O'Reilly, the Gnome project, and the Linux Documentation
Project, to name a few.

	As a result, the DTD based DocBook was chosen; well, actually,
Norm Walsh's conversion of the original SGML Docbook to XML (
was chosen.  Walsh's DocBook XSL Stylesheets are used to transform the XML to
HTML and FO (flow objects) using James Clark's XP (for xml) and XT (for xsl).
	Other xsl processors were tried, including XSL:P and SAXON but they
couldn't handle the requirements of the DocBook XSL stylesheets, which are
based on the 21 April 99 w3c XSLT working draft.  LotusXSL works but XT
provides source code and is redistributable, which is desirable, and both of
which LotusXSL does not provide.  James Tauber's FOP is used to transform the
FO to PDF.  The resulting PDF is OK, but not perfect, mostly due to the XSL/FO
stylesheets needing some tweaking and FOP still being under rapid
development.  I'm sure this situation will get better rapidly, however.
	So, all in all, this is a very doable scheme (as opposed to shema ;)
which works *today* for docs.  The chief advantage is the easy ability to
repurpose the same docs for browsing or pretty printing by a change in
stylesheet.  Another *potential* advantage (not implemented yet but being
considered) is better search capabilities.

Steve Dierker

> Any consideration to using XML Schemas as opposed to DTD's? They provide
> more flexibility and are XML themselves so they can be processed using the
> same XML parser.
> nate
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Vadim Tkachenko
> Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 1999 4:29 AM
> To: Java Apache
> Subject: XML documentation
> Hello,
> Remember the old topic about the XML documentation? EJBoss made it...
> Any comments on the DocBook DTD? Have anyone tried it here since the old
> times?
> --vt

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