$Date: 2005/03/25 21:54:04 $
$Revision: 1.1 $
Interchanging DocBook Documents
questionnaire, DocBook document interchange issues
One of the early factors that motivated the development of the DocBook
&DTD; was the desire for companies to interchange documents. In particular,
&UNIX; vendors wanted to be able to interchange common &UNIX; documentation.
A great deal of effort went into making sure that DocBook could handle
most (probably all) of the documents that were likely to be exchanged.
This avoids the guaranteed interchange problem of &DTD; extension.
However, simply using DocBook or a subset of it is not
enough to ensure successful interchange. If you send someone
your DocBook files, you must also tell the recipient about the
markup your documents use and any of your additional markup
conventions and processing expectations that impose constraints
This appendix provides a sample interchange questionnaire to
help draw your attention to those areas that might be problematic.
For maximum portability, delivered DocBook documents
should be accompanied by a filled-out interchange
questionnaire. Because each situation is unique, you may need to
supply additional information (such as layout specifications) in
order to deliver a complete package.
DocBook and &SGML; Usage
What version of the &DTD; are you using?
Did you use any markup features of the &DTD; that
have been flagged as obsolete (to be removed at the next major version
of DocBook)? If so, which ones?
Did you extend DocBook in any way, inside or outside
the provided customization mechanisms? How? All extensions must be negotiated
with the recipient.
Did you remove markup from DocBook to create a
subset? If you used a subset of DocBook, supply the subset you used. (Note
that even the removal of references to ISO entity sets creates a subset.)
Did you use the supplied &SGML; declaration or another
one? If you used another one, provide it.
Did you use the supplied catalog or another one,
or none at all? If you used a catalog other than the one supplied, provide
If your documents bear no document type declaration,
and you parsed them with a document declaration (with or without an internal
subset), supply it.
Did you add NOTATION declarations?
If so, what are they? List all data content notations used in your documents.
Did you use the SUBDOC feature?
If so, how did you manage the name spaces of their IDs, if you managed
them at all?
Did you use character sets other than ISO 8859-1
(Latin 1)? If so, which ones? How did you use them?
Did you declare and use character entities and
other general entities besides the ISO entity sets? If so, supply the entity
declarations and the desired appearance of the additional character entities.
Are your document files normalized to include all
Are you supplying a document fragment? If so, have
you provided any necessary auxiliary information (such as meta-information)
for the fragment? Are there any attribute values that haven't been specified
that you expect to inherit from a parent that isn't present?
Processing Requirements and Markup Interpretation
What formatting that you applied do you
require your interchange partner to apply? For example,
where and how must text be generated in order for the documents to make sense?
Did you supply your stylesheet and
information regarding its format and version?
How did you create tables of contents,
lists of titles, and indexes? Are they stored in DocBook form? If so,
did you generate them (and according to what rules) or create them by
hand? If you used the Lang common attribute, why, and to what
effect? If you used the Remap common attribute, why, and to what
effect? If you used the Role common attribute, why, and to what
effect? If you used the effectivity
attributes, which did you use, why, and to what effect?
What values did you give to the Label attribute and how are they to be
interpreted for rendering? What
values did you give to the Mark
and Override attributes for lists
and how are they to be interpreted for rendering?
Did you use the Renderas attribute on sections and/or
Did you supply all keyword values you used for
attributes whose declared values are not enumerated tokens, along with
the expected processing for the occurrence of each keyword?
Did you use markup to control width, size,
and/or positioning settings (such as
centered) for graphics, line specific regions, and
tables? If so, how? For rendering of
Sidebars, must these appear in the flow of the text
where they appear in your files, or may they float?
Did you use Callouts? If so, what are the
processing expectations for callout marks?
Did you use ItemizedLists? If so, what are the
processing expectations for the marks on list items and nested lists?
For Graphic and InlineGraphic, what method(s) did
you use for providing graphic data: element content, Fileref attribute, or
For MediaObject and InlineMediaObject,
what method(s) did
you use for selecting between alternative presentations?
How did you specify column widths in tables? Did
you use vertical spans? Did you use horizontal spans?
Did you use EntryTbls?
If you used the Type attribute on the link elements,
why, and to what effect?
If you used XRef, do your interchange
partners need additional information about the semantic of the link?
Have you provided it, perhaps with Role?
Did you use the Subject attribute on GlossDef?
If so, did you use a thesaurus of terms? If so, what is it?
If you used the Class attribute on RefMiscInfo,
why and to what effect?
If you used ULink and provided URLs that are queries,
what back-end processing is required to resolve those queries?
EntityRef is supplied on every
VideoData element. If one is not present, what is the expectation?
If your Bibliographys or
Glossarys have special processing expectations,
such as the ability to display only those entries that are cited,
have you described them?
If your Bibliographys contain
BiblioEntrys, what are the processing expectations?
Which fields are selected for display?
What punctuation is added, and where?
Do GlossTerms or other elements have
implicit linking relationships that must be obeyed or handled in
Did you use any processing instructions? Why and what for?
Are they in entities?
What copyfitting have you already done, and for what outputs?
Are the Revisions in your
RevHistorys sorted in any particular way?
Have you checked your
files for viruses?
If you used BridgeHead, have you joined a recovery