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Docbook vs. Open Doc, some more info

Since the recent "Docbook on Windows" question brought this up... I did
a bit of checking on the current status of these schemas, what they're
intended for and how they interrelate. IBM's Robert Weir reports that
there have been "some discussions in OASIS, between the ODF, DocBook and
DITA TC's to come up with a positioning and interop story involving
these three standards, with the intent of giving a demo at an OASIS
symposium next spring."

He confirms my undrstanding that currently ODF is really tied to a
specific rendering rather than providing the strong semantic layer that
Docbook focuses on (which is why it's easier to turn Docbook into ODF
than vice versa.) "However, we are adding a generic metadata model to
ODF 1.2, probably based on RDF/XML. Once we have that, transforming ODF
to DocBook would be easier."

There's an ODF focus area starting at http://opendocument.xml.org. I've
suggested that they add a FAQ there which gives more information about
how ODF and Dockbook interrelate now and what's expected in the future.
So... It sounds like, for now, going from ODF to Docbook would be like
going from Word to Docbook; you might have to either settle for not
getting back much more than the content and paragraph breaks and
establish higher-level structure later as you bring the document into
publication-ready form, or you'd have to get your Open Doc users to
adopt some conventions which your conversion routines could recognize as
hints for what the right Docbook representation would be.

Joe Kesselman / Beware the fury of a patient man. -- John Dryden
Oct 13 '06 #1
2 3182
Joseph Kesselman wrote:
So... It sounds like, for now, going from ODF to Docbook would be like
going from Word to Docbook; you might have to either settle for not
On a related note, I just found a page at openoffice.org on "DocBook Filters - Read and write
docbook xml using OpenOffice.org":

as well as a link from there that has a table of supported Docbook tags:

and a link to other XML "File Format Filters and Transformations"

Has anyone used OpenOffice to edit convert, and save/convert the result to Docbook successfully?

In any case, OOo seems like the best choice at this point as a "WYSIWYG" content editor, since
support for Docbook appears to there, even if rudimentary right now. Plus, there seems to be active
planning for further interchange/integration between OOo and Docbook down the road.

- AK
Oct 13 '06 #2
Oh, another possibly useful resource: a view of where ODF may be headed
in the future:


() ASCII Ribbon Campaign | Joe Kesselman
/\ Stamp out HTML e-mail! | System architexture and kinetic poetry
Oct 14 '06 #3

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