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Re: [docbook] Ruminations on the future of DocBook

Dave Pawson wrote:

At 11:31 31/05/2003 -0400, ed nixon wrote:

For example, what about a mapping of DocBook elements to XHTML elements? As a first approximation of a "core" set? It would likely be many-to-one in most cases. DocBook is richer with respect to XHTML, but that DocBook subset, call it a *new* SDocBook might be a good starting point to look at modularization with respect to other, more specific, more rich
requirements for other forms of technical documentation.

And quite possibly it would meet the needs of ??? 70% of docbook users?
I.e. all those who mark up in docbook and present in (X)HTML?

I'm reading Edward Tufte's new essay, "The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint" (You can buy it for $7 from his web site,; it's excellent as are all his other books of design and display of data.)

In the essay he is making points about the inadequacy and even dangers of PPT "rhetoric": slides, bullets, phrases and hierarchies for adequately explaining complicated situations and processes. For example, he critiques the slide presentations assessing tile damage to Columbia that were done by Boeing engineers for NASA officials in the decision process about whether to do further investigation and/or allow the ship to land.

He says, "People have communicated about complex matters for centuries without hierarchical bullet lists. Richard Feynman wrote about much of physics -- mechanics, optics, thermodynamics, quantum behavior -- in a 600-page book with *only two levels*: chapters and headings within chapters."

I guess I'm trying to make an analogous point about comparative semantic markup. To answer your question, Dave: Yes, the 70+% of DocBook users, but not necessarily constrained to web output. Or, at least, when we remember that there can be print-oriented CSS, as well as FO/PDF, output that is not just published to electronic channels.


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