A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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DocBook is a collection of XML standards and tools for technical publishing. The DocBook document type definition (DTD) was developed during the 1990s to provide an application-independent method for creating computer documentation. But the basic 'book' features of DocBook can be used for other kinds of content, so it has been adapted to many purposes. DocBook is often compared against DITA, a similar but newer XML schema.



Choosing an XML Schema

DocBook and DITA both have their places. They're both excellent for single sourcing. DocBook is better for what I call monolithic single sourcing, while DITA is better suited for discrete single sourcing.

Nesbitt, Scott. DMN Communications (2008). Articles>Information Design>DocBook>DITA


Choosing an XML Schema: DocBook or DITA?

If you follow the latest trends or have been to a conference recently, you may find the idea of choosing an XML schema puzzling. Isn't the question really, 'How should I customize DITA to do what I want'? While there are many good reasons to choose DITA, it's not the only schema in town.

Hamilton, Richard. Content Wrangler, The (2008). Articles>Information Design>DocBook>DITA


DITA for DocBook

If you line DocBook and DITA up, I think DITA can point to four technical differences that are arguably features in its favor.

Walsh, Norman. DITA for DocBook. Articles>Information Design>DocBook>DITA


DITA, DocBook and the Art of the Document

Both the DITA and the DocBook specification are quite alive and well in organizations, and each is evolving into its own distinct application niches, with DITA looking to be turning into the default standard for large scale enterprises, while DocBook works more effectively at the small to intermediate level. What’s perhaps more interesting is the Microsoft Word, even with support for XML as provided by OOXML, is not making as much of an inroad in the structured document market, in great part because it is fairly difficult to constrain people’s use of the word-processing program to a limited, finite subset of potential styles.

Cagle, Kurt. XML.com (2008). Academic>Documentation>DocBook>DITA


DocBook (SGML/XML)

The DocBook document type definition (DTD) was developed during the 1990s to provide an application independent method for creating computer documentation. Versions of the DocBook DTD have been created for both SGML and XML. You can create an embedded index in DocBook using index elements.

Brown, Fred. Allegro Time! (2001). Articles>Indexing>XML>DocBook


DocBook Basics and References

DocBook provides a system for writing structured documents using SGML or XML. It is particularly well-suited to books and papers about computer hardware and software, though it is by no means limited to them.

dpawson.co.uk. Books>Documentation>XML>DocBook


A DocBook Basics and References

DocBook is an easy-to-understand and widely used DTD. Dozens of organizations use DocBook for millions of pages of documentation, in various print and online formats, worldwide.

Walsh, Norman. dpawson.co.uk (2004). Books>Information Design>XML>DocBook


DocBook Conversions with XFC

There are a number of tools available for transforming DocBook XML documents to various formats. All of these tools have strengths, as well as some noticeable weaknesses and drawbacks. This article looks at the benefits of using the XMLmind FO Converter, a graphical, highly configurable, and cross-platform application designed to transform DocBook XML files to any supported output format.

Nesbitt, Scott. InformIT (2005). Articles>Documentation>Standards>DocBook


DocBook Demystification Howto

This howto attempts to clear the fog and mystery surrounding the DocBook markup system and the tools that go with it. It is aimed at authors of technical documentation for open-source projects hosted on Linux, but should be useful for people composing other kinds on other Unixes as well.

Raymond, Eric S. tldp.org. Articles>Documentation>XML>DocBook


DocBook for the Masses

Having new DocBook standards in place may do little to push adoption. An important factor in driving user adoption is the availability of software that implements the standard. It would be interesting to see whether big software companies would jump on the bandwagon...Unless the open-source community comes to the rescue!

Talbot, Fabrice. LiveTechDocs (2008). Articles>Documentation>XML>DocBook


Docbook Frequently Asked Questions

This is a collation of some Frequently Asked questions regarding Docbook. The initial focus will be on the XML version of the DTD, and the XSLT based stylesheets.

dpawson.co.uk (2005). Articles>Documentation>Standards>DocBook


DocBook or DITA?

XML is the future. You hear it at every conference you go to, in every magazine you pick up, in every article you read on-line. For technical writers, right now that future comes down to two products—DocBook or DITA. But what exactly are they, and which one should you choose? They are schemas for creating XML.

Technical Writer (2006). Articles>Documentation>DocBook>DITA


The DocBook Project

DocBook is an XML vocabulary that is particularly well suited to books and papers about computer hardware and software.

SourceForge (2003). Resources>Documentation>Open Source>DocBook


DocBook to DITA Conversion Automation - Improving the Yield?

With DITA implementations on the rise, and an entrenched DocBook community already in place, the resulting market interest has spurred interest in automated DocBook to DITA conversion. So I would expect offerings of automated DocBook to DITA conversion scripts to emerge in the next 6-10 months. This article addresses the real questions, "What should I expect from automated tools?" and "Will they work for me?" from the viewpoint of live experience with numerous DocBook to DITA conversions. The answers to these questions are not usually obvious.

Vaysbukh, Mikhail. DCL (2008). Articles>Documentation>DocBook>DITA


DocBook versus DITA: Will the Real Standard Please Stand Up?

More than a decade ago DocBook became the standard for the few brave souls forging ahead in XML publications. DocBook offered a cheaper and more efficient way to publish to multiple formats. Single-sourcing became a reality for hardware and software companies. However, in recent years, many in technical documentation publications have proclaimed DITA as the standard for XML documentation. DITA offered architecture in which to create and publish structured content. Are these two seemingly rival standards really that different? This article from Teresa Mulvihill answers this question with comparative examples, and allows you, the audience, to decide for yourselves.

Mulvihill, Teresa. Data Conversion Laboratory (2008). Articles>Documentation>DocBook>DITA


DocBook Wiki   (Word)

DocBook is officially available as a [WWW] Document Type Definition (DTD) for both XML and SGML. It is unofficially available in other forms as well.

Docbook.org (2003). Resources>Documentation>XML>DocBook


DocBook XSL Repository

These are XSL stylesheets for the DocBook DTD and its derivatives (Simplified DocBook, etc.) to generate PDF/print documents or Web/HTML content.

SourceForge (2005). Resources>Documentation>XSL>DocBook


DocBook XSL: The Complete Guide

DocBook is a collection of standards and tools for technical publishing. DocBook was originally created by a consortium of software companies as a standard for computer documentation. But the basic 'book' features of DocBook can be used for other kinds of content, so it has been adapted to many purposes.

Stayton, Bob. Sagehill (2005). Books>Documentation>XSL>DocBook


DocBook: An Introduction for Technical Writers   (PDF)

A set of slides that gives a brief introduction to DocBook and why it is useful for technical writers. Also available in PDF format.

Nesbitt, Scott. DMN Communications (2002). Presentations>Documentation>Standards>DocBook


DocBook: The Definitive Guide   (Word)

This book is designed to be the clear, concise, normative reference to the DocBook DTD. This book is the official documentation for the DocBook DTD.

Walsh, Norman and Leonard Muellner. Docbook.org (2003). Books>Documentation>XML>DocBook


Get Going With DocBook

A tutorial on writing documentation that will be used in a particular project.

Galassi, Mark. Galassi.org (1998). Articles>Documentation>Standards>DocBook


Getting Started with the DocBook XML Dialect

Gets you started with DocBook, an SGML/XML dialect that describes the content of technical articles and other documents. David discusses the benefits of using DocBook, and then describes how to plan and modularize a large document conversion project.

Mertz, David. IBM (2000). Articles>Documentation>XML>DocBook


Hurdles to Single-Sourcing

LaTeX and DocBook (and for that matter any manner of XML editors), which could be considered excellent single-sourcing tools, are almost never discussed.

Meyerding, Henry. KeyContent.org (2004). Articles>Content Management>LaTeX>DocBook


I'm not Technical. Why Should I Bother to Learn DocBook or DITA?

First of all, understand that you don’t have to learn it. Every year more and more toolds come out that help place a layer between you and the native XML. In a few years time you will hardly even realise there is XML underneath.

Technical Writer (2006). Articles>Information Design>DocBook>DITA



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