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Re: [HACKERS] Uppercase SGML entity declarations

From: Christopher Browne <cbbrowne(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: Susanne Ebrecht <susanne(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
Cc: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>, Gabriele Bartolini <gabriele(dot)bartolini(at)2ndquadrant(dot)it>, Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>, pgsql-docs(at)postgresql(dot)org, PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Uppercase SGML entity declarations
Date: 2011-04-04 18:50:13
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-docspgsql-hackers
On Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 1:26 PM, Susanne Ebrecht <susanne(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com> wrote:
> Anyway, I figured out there is another argument for XML:
> My information is that DocBook 5.0 won't support SGML anymore.
> Which means - sooner or later a reaction is needed.

Yes, indeed.

I don't think that during the 9.1 alpha phase is the right time to
think about this, but this certainly seems appropriate to consider as
a 9.2 "ToDo" item.

There are arguments as to why to switch to version 5, which is,
indeed, XML-only.

They argue that version 5
- Is what will get fixes.  Which may not matter to us, as I don't
think we have been getting bitten by "horrible DocBook problems."
- Has new functionality.  Which may not matter, as we're doubtless not
using all of the functionality of elder versions of DocBook either.
- Is more extensible.  Which I imagine doesn't matter, as we weren't
extending earlier versions.
- Is easier to customize.  Almost anything would be better than
DSSSL... (
is my little contribution that apparently got used a fair bit by

There is also a possible counter-position to be taken, namely that the
existing tooling works, is mature, and isn't too likely to disappear
in any sort of short term.

In any case, the ToDo shouldn't be about how to convert the SGML to
XML - that's merely one of the tasks.  There is already a ToDo item,
which points here:

It needs to cover making sure such things as that:
a) The output forms presently used (e.g. - PDF, man pages, perhaps
.chm/.rtf) continue to be available
b) We can clearly document what new toolchain is needed to process the
various output forms, and validate that it's sufficiently free,
sufficiently robust, sufficiently portable, and so forth.
c) Integrating the toolchain into the Postgres build process.

This represents a fair bit of work, so it's a bit of a presumption
that it's a wise move to do this in 9.2.  I don't think the benefits
that the DocBook folk present for moving to v5 are necessarily
compelling to the Postgres community.

BTW, I wear most of the "DocBook hat" for the Slony project, and I
don't see it being valuable to us ("Slony project") to migrate to v5.
It would require quite a bit of work, and I don't see any of the
claimed benefits being helpful to the "Slony us."

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