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[docbook] DocBook Technical Committee Meeting Minutes: 17 March 2004

DocBook Technical Committee Meeting Minutes: 17 March 2004

The DocBook Technical Committee met on Wednesday, 17 Mar 2004 at
05:00p EST (02:00p PST, 22:00GMT, 22:00BST, 23:00CEST, 07:00JST+,
03:30a India+) for 90 minutes.

1. Attendees:
Steven Cogorno, Gary Cornelius, Adam Di Carlo, Paul Grosso,
Dick Hamilton, Scott Hudson, Mark Johnson,
Jirka Kosek, Larry Rowland, Michael Smith, Robert Stayton,
Norman Walsh

Absent: Nancy Harrison

2. Accepted the minutes[1] of the previous meeting

3. Next meeting: 21 April 2004.

No regrets.

4. Review of the agenda.

No additions.

5. Review of open action items

    a. Mike to provide a better proposal for choicelist markup.
    b. Mike to reconsider the annotation problem and post his thoughts.
    c. Norm to add <anchor> and remap attribute to simplified DocBook.
    d. Dick to examine the use of alt, possibly as part
       of the annotation discussion.
    e. Bob to test HTML tables in 4.3.

6. Any response from OASIS to Norm's letter about Kavi? [2]

OASIS is developing a requirements document for a new document
management system.  The requirements have been discussed on
the chairs mailing list.

ACTION: Norm will summarize the document and discussion.

There was some discussion of and the DocBook
SourceForge site about consolidating DocBook standards
documents and tools onto one site.  It is something the
SourceForge development team could discuss.

7. DocBook V4.3 CR3

No new bugs reported, and Bob completed some testing of
HTML tables.  Mark pointed out that when it is released
in a Debian package it will get a lot more testing.
The group decided to not wait.
Bob pointed out that the reference pages on for the new elements are not complete,
Mike asked if a flattened version of the DTD could be
included (see agenda item 7b).

The committee approved the release of the 4.3 DTD.

ACTION: Norm to publish the 4.3 DTD as an
official committee specification, in both
XML and SGML forms.

ACTION: Norm to complete the reference pages for the
new 4.3 elements on the site.

7b.  Additional forms of the 4.3 DTD.

The group decided that it would publish only the
XML and SGML DTDs as the normative standard.
We would also permit the publishing of other
formats as non-normative.

ACTION: Norm to publish these unofficial versions

  - RelaxNG XML version
  - RelaxNG compact syntax version
  - W3C XML Schema
  - flattened version of the XML DTD

8. DocBook V5.0 (RELAX NG)

Norm reported that the RelaxNG version of 5.0
is complete, and he has been using it.
He reported that the Trang conversion tool has
less flexibility when generating DTDs than XML
Schemas.  The DTD that comes out will be flat,
lacking parameter entities, and thus will not
be as easy to customize.  Nor will one be able to
port an existing customization layer, or customize
with PEs in the internal subset the way you
can now.  Mike suggested that
people customize the RelaxNG version and
rengenerate the DTD.

Norm wrote a paper with Sebastian Rahtz to
enable merger of TEI and DocBook elements.

ACTION: Norm to post a reference to the paper.

Will there be a 4.4 DTD before 5.0?  The committee
left that as a possibility, depending on whether it
was needed and when 5.0 would be ready.

9. biblioref proposal [3]
   (formerly Improved citation support, RFE 810932).
   Additional replies for consideration [4] [5]

The committee reviewed the latest proposal. [10]
The committee changed some of the attribute names
to be more consistent:

# define new biblioref element
     biblioref = element biblioref {
     biblioref.attlist &=
         attribute linkend { xsd:IDREF },
         attribute endterm { xsd:IDREF }?,
         attribute units { xsd:token }?,
         attribute begin {xsd:token }?,
         attribute end { xsd:token }?,
         attribute xrefstyle { xsd:token }?

The renderas attribute was changed to xrefstyle
because it is so similar to the xrefstyle in
the xref element. It will be CDATA rather than
enumerated values because the group felt it
was not possible to cover everyone's needs with
a fixed list of values.  The documentation will
include a list of suggested values, and a
stylesheet will ultimately determine which
values are supported in a given environment.

10. Reconsider the policy for backwards incompatible changes.

The current practice is that backwards incompatible
changes to the DTD are to be described one full release
before they are released.  That is, any such changes
for 5.0 should have been commented on in version 4.0.
However, version 4.0 was released in May 2000, almost
four years ago.  The changes due to converting to
RelaxNG could not have been anticipated then.
Norm proposed a one-time exception to the process
for 5.0 because it will change the validation process
significantly.  The committee approved.

The group felt it was important to help those using
version 4 to prepare for the eventual release of 5.0
by publicizing the development.

ACTION: Norm to produce a draft spec of 5.0.

11.  Revisit addition of 'language' attribute
to programlisting and synopsis (use MIME?).
See [6] for the original RFE 798616.
See [7] for the minutes of the decision.
See [8] and [9] for further discussion about it.

The committee discussed adding a 'syntax' attribute,
but declined because of potential confusion with
the 'language' attribute.  Norm suggested that
MIME types could be used to indicate both
language and syntax in a 'language' attribute,
using the well-known MIME standard.
The commitee decided to close the RFE with
no action.

12. Generalizing programlisting (Steve).

Steve got a lukewarm response to his posting about
changing the name of programlisting.  There was
no strong demand to change it, and no clear
benefit for such a significant backwards incompatible
change.  Mike suggested adapting the textdata
element to support the request.

ACTION: Bob to add using textdata to the next agenda
(near the top).

13. Review of Requests for Enhancement

Ran out of time.  Norm suggested we allocate time
at the next meeting.

    To browse a specific RFE, enter the URL (on one line):;;

      543064 JavaObject tag
      675024 form, script, applet support
      698026 cannot embed <superscript> within <guibutton>
      702185 add procedure as child of para
      711815 Tagging for subtler breaks or "pauses" within a chapter
      742373 Splitting Segmented List
      752632 Color control of CALS table element
      798616 syntax="" or notation="" needed for code listings
      828720 'spacing' attr. for 'variablelist'
      882791 Allow 'procedure' within 'para'

     The following RFEs are awaiting action items

      413389 Enhance METHODNAME and VARNAME (Norm, generic linking)
      431411 RFE 70: add generic linking capability (Norm)
      522552 Add title attribute to <ulink> element (Mike, annotations)
      541444 caption in mediaobjectco (Dick)
      565637 Associate non-inline image with link (Norm, generic linking)
      574880 Add annotation element (Mike)
      613293 Generalize programlisting (Steve)
      623524 (Re)Consider "choicelist" markup (Mike)

     The following RFEs are identified as V6.0 or later

      531851 Remove inline person name elements
      532088 Remove RevHistory from qandaentry
- ---


Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises
DocBook Consulting

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