Balisage Paper: DocBook
Norman Walsh is a Lead Engineer at MarkLogic Corporation where he helps to develop APIs and tools for the world’s leading enterprise NoSQL database. Norm is also an active participant in a number of standards efforts worldwide: he is chair of the XML Processing Model Working Group at the W3C where he is also co-chair of the XML Core Working Group. At OASIS, he is chair of the DocBook Technical Committee.
DocBook is a general purpose XML schema particularly well suited to books and papers about computer hardware and software (though it is by no means limited to these applications). DocBook has been under active maintenance for more than 20 years,; it began life as an SGML document type definition. Because it is a large and robust schema, and because its main structures correspond to the general notion of what constitutes a “book,” DocBook has been adopted by a large and growing community of authors writing books of all kinds. DocBook is supported “out of the box” by a number of commercial tools, and there is rapidly expanding support for it in a number of free software environments. These features have combined to make DocBook a generally easy to understand, widely useful, and very popular schema. Dozens of organizations are using DocBook for millions of pages of documentation, in various print and online formats, worldwide.