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Re: Why no MAP/SHORTREFs in DocBook?

Trevor, you wrote:

> In using the DocBook DTD in anger recently I've found it very
> inconvenient that there is no use of the MAP feature or at the least
> hooks, by which I mean parameter entity declarations, so the user
> can define them themselves.

My guess is maybe because the DocBook TC and docs have made it clear
at least since v3.1 that as of v5.0, the only official DocBook will be
XML compliant. As you know, XML -- for good or bad -- forbids all
markup minimization, including SHORTREF and USEMAP.

> The sort of thing I'd expected to be part of DocBook was for
> &RS;&RE; sequences to be interpreted as occurences of a para start
> tag. Even having those sequences defined as maps belonging to para,
> simplepara, or formalpara so that a sequence of theses elements are
> be marked-up with little effort on my part would be an advance.

Out of personal curiosity and at the risk of revealing my ignorance,
why the particular character sequence &RS;&RE; ? I realize it must
have special significance, but I don't know enough to recognize it.

I'm also genuinely curious to know in what sort of scenario that kind
of minimization is useful. Is it because you're marking up legacy
documents? or typing tags in manually in a text editor?

Wasn't markup minimization abandoned in XML because many SGML folks
had already given up on it as making tool development too difficult?

That is, while minimization makes it easier to author documents using
simple text editors, it makes things much tougher for the developers
who have to write parsers to handle minimized doc instances.

A while back, I came across a vintage (1996) opinion on this same topic:

I'm guessing you've heard all the arguments already, and still would
like to have minimization. As I said above, as someone muchh less
experienced with this stuff, I'm curious to know in what kind of
situations you find it useful (or necessary).

  --Mike Smith

Michael Smith

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