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Re: Simplified DocBook

On Wed, Oct 25, 2000 at 04:29:09PM -0400, David C. Merrill, Ph.D. wrote:

> Amen, brother. If you want to use a simple set of tags, you can stick to a
> small subset of DB and get away with it. 

No, it's much longer to type due to long tags, end tags, and tag
nesting.  LinuxDoc is a lot easier but it can be converted to DocBook.

> However, once we get to the point of doing more intensive indexing,
> DB has the additional tags to support it.  Hopefully, we will be
> doing things *soon* that will outgrow LinuxDoc. I'm sure planning
> to.

I'm very sceptical about this.  We already have keyword tags in
LinuxDoc.  Perhaps you might devise some really important ones that
then could be added to LinuxDoc.

For example, it would be nice to have a set of tags describing the
level of presentation of a topic (where each  section/subsection name
might be a "topic").  Does the presentation focus on hardware,
software, theory, step-by-step procedures, etc.  What
distributions/versions/platforms is it valid for?  (In most cases,
even the author doesn't know.)  What is assumed about the knowledge of
the reader?  Does one need to read other subsections in order to
understand this subsection?

All the above is so complicated that I don't think we should spend
time working on it.  Is it already being worked on elsewhere?
Another way of dealing with this is to encourage authors to state at
the start of a doc (and within the doc) what audience the doc is
directed to and what one needs to know in advance (including possibly
a reading list).  But even more important than this is improving the
content of our docs.  Many docs read great but the step-by-step
procedures may not work in many cases, or they may contain a fair
amount of errors.  In addition, there are many areas inadequately
covered (or not covered at all).

HOWTOs that are strictly true to their name and just tell one how to
do something, rapidly become obsolete as Linux changes and the various
distributions decide to do things their own way (thereby trying to
lock-in users to that distribution).

			David Lawyer

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