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LWN: Exploring SGML DocBook

Apr 26, 2000, 23:01 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Giorgio Zoppi)

"Suppose you have to write a handbook for your project and you have no much time, which editing tool would you use? In Linux several solutions exist, one of these is using SGML DocBook."

"SGML, acronym for Standard Generalized Markup Language, is a markup structured language. The essential characteristic of a markup language is that it explicitly distinguishes between document's semantics and its structure, emphasizing the latter."

"Moreover, since document's final result is usually based on its structure and its contents, SGML marks and determines how the general lines of a given document it will appear to the user, opening the possibility to use a single source in order to create differents formats. Every SGML document makes reference to a set of declarations, called the "DTD" (Document Type Definition), which contains a list of the available tags and rules on how they may be combined."

"The most famous DTD for SGML is certainly HTML, that surely you used when you built your web site. Docbook is a DTD purposely designed (and widely used) in order to create articles, books, and other technical works, but that does not exclude that it cannot be used for other document types."

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