DocBook, an XML (and SGML) application for authoring technical books and documentation, has been around more than most XML formats. Read about the history of this format, and discover another, simpler version.
DocBook was originally a popular Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) format for authoring books and documentation, especially those of a more technical nature. An XML version was added, and DocBook [OASIS Standard] is currently in version 4.x, with a version 5 in development. The popular DocBook has impressive support in tools, many of which are quite mature. It is well respected for being a good example of how to avoid mixing presentation considerations into content formats. Recently, some developers have grumbled about how much baggage it still carries from all its older versions, and there has been a good deal of talk (even by Norm Walsh, one of its key developers) about starting afresh with a new, non-backward-compatible version of the format. The Simplified DocBook version tries to reduce the tag load without straying too far in the basic framework.
- XML Matters: Getting started with the DocBook XML dialect by David Mertz, Ph.D. (developerWorks, October 2000) offers a high-level introduction.
- DocBook.org primarily covers DocBook: The Definitive Guide by Norman Walsh and Leonard Muellner (O'Reilly & Associates, 1999). The site hosts the entire book's contents online and is well hyperlinked. It's an excellent, detailed reference to all of DocBook.
- The DocBook Wiki is a collaborative space for information and discussion of the language.
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