DocBook: The Definitive Guide is the complete and official documentation of the DocBook Document Type Definition (DTD) and many of its associated tools.DocBook is a system for writing structured documents using SGML and XML. It provides all the elements you'll need for technical documents of all kinds. A number of computer companies use DocBook for their documentation, as do several Open Source documentation groups, including the Linux Documentation Project (LDP). With the consistent use of DocBook, these groups can readily share and exchange information. With an XML-enabled browser, DocBook documents are as accessible on the Web as in print.DocBook: The Definitive Guide was written by Norman Walsh, the author of the XML implementation of the DocBook DTD; and Leonard Muellner, the manager of O'Reilly & Associates' Production Tools Group.In this book, you'll find:
A brief introduction to SGML and XML
A guide to creating documents with the DocBook DTD and associated stylesheets
Information about using SGML and XML tools like Jade and DSSSL
An guide to customizing DocBook
A complete SGML and XML reference, including examples, for every DocBook element
In addition, the CDROM contains:
The complete source text of this book, in both SGML and HTML
All the examples from the book
DSSSL Stylesheets that let you convert DocBook documents to RTF, LaTeX, or HTML
The DocBook DTD for SGML, version 3.1
Oasis, the organization that is the official maintainer of the DocBook DTD, has identified DocBook: the Definitive Guide as the official documentation for the DocBook DTD.
Norm Walsh is a Production Tools Specialist at O'Reilly and Associates' Cambridge office. Before Norm joined ORA, he was a research assistant at UMass, Amherst where he earned his master's degree in computer science.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The bird on the cover of DocBook: The Definitive Guide is a wood duck. Often considered one of the most beautiful ducks in North America, the male wood duck has a metallic purple and green head with white streaks extending from its bill around the eyes and down to its blue and green, gold-flecked wings. It has a white neck, chestnut-colored chest, a white or red bill, and yellow-orange legs and feet. Females have more brown, gray, and subdued hues.Wood ducks nest off the ground in tree cavities, commonly with narrow openings originally used by a woodpecker, owl, or other small bird. Their nests can be as high as thirty feet off the ground, and they prefer to nest over or beside water, but will nest up to a couple of miles from water if necessary. Many people have successfully attracted wood ducks to unwooded wetlands by building nesting boxes, which can even be purchased from several birding groups.A large conservation effort in the early 1900s helped bring this colorful duck back from the brink of extinction, and wood ducks can now be found in 38 states in the United States and eight provinces in Canada. Edie Freedman designed the cover of this book, using a 19th- century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. Kathleen Wilson produced the cover layout using QuarkXPress 3.32 and Adobe's ITC Garamond font. Alicia Cech designed the inside layout, based on a series design by Nancy Priest. Hanna Dyer designed the CD label; Kathleen Wilson produced the label using QuarkXPress 4.0. The text was formatted from SGML into FrameMaker 5.5 with Jade, using a DSSSL conversion stylesheet written by Chris Maden. The interior fonts are ITC Garamond Light, Garamond Book, and ConstantWillison.Whenever possible, our books use RepKover, a durable and flexible lay-flat binding. If the page count exceeds RepKover's limit, perfect binding is used.The illustrations that appear in this book were produced by Robert Romano and Rhon Porter using Macromedia Freehand 8 and Adobe Photoshop 5. David Futato was the production editor; Madeleine Newell guided the book through the early stages of production. Mark Nigara was the copyeditor forDocBook: The Definitive Guide. Abigail Myers provided production assistance and typesetting. Ellie Cutler was the proofreader, and quality assurance was provided by Jeff Holcomb and Claire Cloutier LeBlanc. Ellen Troutman indexed the book. This colophon was written by Nicole Arigo.
Comments about O'Reilly Media DocBook: The Definitive Guide:
The subtitle is a dead giveaway: "The Official Documentation". Anynone who has a liking for well-defined standards and concise documentation should be happy with this volume.
Some introductory chapters describe the basic structure of DocBook xml and sgml files. These are among the most useful resources on getting started with writing xml documents I've found yet.
The core (and the bulk) of the book is the description of the elements and their usage. The structured text is nicely modularized along these given lines. But the book stops working here. Due to the heavily interrelated nature of the information, the reader keeps paging through the alphabetically sorted entries. The only solution for this is a strongly hyperlinked electronic document - which is exactly what the authors provide on the accompaigning CD-ROM. It is only through this reference the true value shows itself.
Also, you don't have to take my word for it. The full text is available at www.oreilly.com and in other places. So, buying the book gives you a more readable rendition of the longer text passages, a fallback when the net goes down, and the feeling of giving some folks their due.
One drawback of the first edition is that it covers DocBook Version 3, while Version 4 is out now.