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DocBook: The Definitive Guide

AuthorsNorman Walsh, Leonard Muellner Entered2000-12-28 00:11:00 by bcrowell
Editedit data record FreedomCopyrighted, doesn't cost money to read, but otherwise not free (disclaimer)
SubjectQ.A - Mathematics. Computer science (applications)
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http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/docbook/chapter/book/docbook.html
This link was reported to be OK by user Ben Crowell on 2001-01-04 12:00:00
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Just a dry reference manual
by bryce on 2000-12-28 20:50:00, review #63
content
typical
writing
typical
The book describes itself as "...the complete and official documentation of the DocBook DTD", and while it most certainly fulfills that promise, a tutorial it is not.

Part I is rather superficial, touching only briefly on a number of complex issues. While there are a few terse code examples, these are presented without indication of what the final document will look like. There is little guidance regarding software needed for actually writing in the language; with as frequently as software changes, this strategy is understandable, but yet it leaves the novice with a sizeable gap to leap before they can put the information in the book to good use - especially if they wish to use this "cross platform" language on anything other than UNIX.

Part II is a long and detailed listing of all the tags for this writing language. While it is certainly handy to have such a complete, detailed reference, it makes the language seem utterly forboding. I cannot imagine that DocBook will be successful if this is the only guide that novices to DocBook have to learn from.

Fortunately DocBook is simple enough that one can learn it without such a tome. ;-)


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dull
by Ben Crowell (crowell09 at stopspam.lightandmatter.com (change 09 to current year)) on 2005-01-18 11:26:35, review #440
http://www.lightandmatter.com
content
typical
writing
typical
The good news is that DocBook is open-source software, and, unlike a lot of open-source software, it has complete, free documentation (also available in print from O'Reilly). The bad news is that this book is not up to O'Reilly's usual high standards of writing. It's just plain dull. It takes a long time to get going, and there are lots of detours. For example, they explain in excruciating detail about SGML's relationship to XML, and how DocBook can be used with either format; in this day and age, I think it would have made more sense to describe the XML version in the book, and relegate the SGML version to an appendix.

Information wants to be free, so make some free information.


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