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Re: DocBook/XML summary

From: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>
To: Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>
Cc: pgsql-docs(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: DocBook/XML summary
Date: 2006-07-15 23:59:14
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Lists: pgsql-docs
> Possible advantages of using XML:
> - Future DocBook development will be XML-only (or at least XML-mainly), 
> so in the (very) long run we will have to switch anyway because the 
> tools aren't there anymore.

Well sgml tools is probably a long way from dying as you note with (very) ;)

> - XML editing tools are more widely available.  (Totally unconfirmed 
> assumption; I'm happy with what I have.)

Most XML tools I have ran into also support SGML.

> - Translation tools may work better with XML sources.  (Totally 
> unconfirmed; would need to be in actual use by someone.)

Do you mean language translation or transformation (as in pdf?).

> - Could use MathML, SVG, and other extensions (but I don't think they 
> actually work yet).

SVG is really nice. I don't know much about MathML.

> - When XML support is available in PostgreSQL, you can import the 
> documentation and do wild things. ;-)

Actually that could be fairly interesting from a \h point of view from psql.

> Possible disadvantages of using XML:
> - Marked sections don't work anymore; would need to use DocBook-specific 
> profiling mechanism, which isn't all that elegant.

I don't know what is meant by this.

> - More typing: Things like <abc>foo</> and other abbreviations won't 
> work anymore; all attributes would need to be quoted, etc.

That is true, but we also get better interoperability, like going from 

> - doc/src/sgml/*.sgml will look silly for filenames.

Well that is an easy fix with a one line shell script and some sed 
within the docs ;)

> - Someone would need to do the conversion.  I understand that the French 
> translation team might have patches available.

This is actually fairly easy to do. We did it with our book in half a 
day. The postgresql docs are about 2 times the size of our book IIRC.

> So that is it.  In my mind, there is no clear winner, but if someone has 
> a concrete need for XML, I don't see a problem with it.

The one thing that I am still unaware of is a good print quality output 
for Docbook XML. Now to be honest I haven't checked in some time but one 
of our primary goals *needs* to be to efficiently convert to PDF.


Joshua D. Drake


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