Tuesday, November 13, 2007

DocBook v5.0 now an official Committee Draft!

I was on the road last week and didn't have a chance to post the GREAT news!

At the DocBook TC meeting on November 7, 2007, DocBook V5.0 was approved as a Committee Draft! This draft was a result of several years of hard design work, especially by Norm Walsh, who created 9 Beta Releases and 7 Candidate Releases since October of 2005.

The most exciting feature, IMO, that this standard is based on RelaxNG rather than DTD. DTD and XSD are still supported/provided, but the canonical format is now RelaxNG (RNC). Vendors, start your engines and add support for RelaxNG validation! Actually, several vendors are already "ahead of the game" with RelaxNG support: oXygen XML Editor, XML Mind XXE, Editix, Emacs nXML, Cladonia Exchanger XML Editor. Conspicuously missing: PTC Arbortext Editor and XMetal. [NUDGE: C'mon big guys!]

The other exciting result of DocBook v5 and RelaxNG, is that it makes customization layers EXTREMELY easy to manage. The DocBook Subcommittee for Publishers proposed a new modularization of the RNC schemas for DocBook v5 to create Core DocBook and additional schema modules, which have now been incorporated into the v5 source. As a result, we've also been able to produce an initial draft of an official DocBook Publishers customization very easily!

This is great news for the entire DocBook TC and community!


Antonio DaSilva said...

"Conspicuously missing: PTC Arbortext Editor and XMetal."

Conspicuous, yes, Scotty. Surprising, no.

PTC and JustSystems have drank the DITA Kool-Aid to the point where they seem almost embarrassed at the mere mention of DocBook.

(DISCLAIMER: DITA is great. I'm not bashing DITA. I just love it, OK all you DITA evangelists out there!)

Scott Hudson said...

It's not really even a question of DITA vs. DocBook, but a matter of support for RelaxNG validation. RelaxNG is just as powerful, if not more so, than XSD and as easy to maintain, if not more so, than DTD! There are so many opportunities for folks to create and manage validation schemas, but the 2 major players in the market refuse to support it. Thankfully the newer, more nimble players have support for this, and are making their UIs more user friendly. In fact, oXygen 9 and XML Mind have CSS-styled editing interfaces that basic authors can now use. If the 2 major players don't step up and play ball, they will soon be out of the game, IMO...