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SGML and Docbook documentation

Thanks for your quick responses from Hugo van der
Kooij and Martin Wheeler to my recent inquiry about
SGML and Docbook.  Sorry I forgot to include a

I did realize that SGML was used to define other
markup languages but did not realize there were so
many of them.  You gave me a lot of good information
that I will check into.

Martin Wheeler's respones to my question:
Welcome to the LDP.
Would you like to start documenting DocBook methods
straight away?
This group needs it.

I am willing to work on documenting this and document
SGML in general to the extent that readers can get the
big picture and understand some background about the
various developments with SGML and SGML derived DTDs. 
I will work on documenting the fact that SGML is so
generic since I don't think this is immediately
obvious and is confusing to those trying to learn the
technology.  I will also try to document the use of
some of the tools involved but cannot guarantee to
document them all.  Do I need to register with the LDP
to do this?  

My Question:
>  If a documented method can
> be established for all writers to have enough "ease
> use" with Docbook I would be willing to work with
> various individuals and organizations such as the
> and OASIS to try to make it a standard for the
> industry as much as is practical.  

Your response:
Difficult.  But go ahead, certainly.  Various
industries, large
publishers, medical organisations, the military, etc.
have long had
their own DTDs specifically written for them, to cover
their own
specific tech-doc requirements, and are unlikely to
Competent tech-doc writers just learn a new DTD,
rather than try to
persuade all employers to dance to the same tune.

This makes me concerned about the direction the
industry is headed with reguard to documentation.  Is
it easy for writers to change from one type to
another?  It seems to me that this would cause more
confusion and that it would be better to settle on at
least a general standard.  I think OASIS recommends
Docbook and I'm sure the LDP would not use Docbook if
it were not good, but what are its advantages and
disadvantages over some of the other types?  

Thanks for your help.

Mark Allen

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