Simplified DocBk XML on the Web | WebReference

Simplified DocBk XML on the Web

Simplified DocBk XML on the Web

Introduction to DocBook


DocBook is an SGML format for writing structured documents. Until recently, it was maintained by the Davenport Group hosted at O'Reilly. Recently, it's been moved into the care of the Oasis group at It's been used extensively by technical writers and publishers. The Linux Documentation Project (LDP) is one notable project that's used DocBook extensively. O'Reilly is a company that uses DocBook internally quite a bit. In fact, I'm writing my Perl XML book entirely in DocBook. If you've never used SGML or XML before and are really fond of WYSIWYG editors, you're really going to hate DocBook at first. That's ok, because after you publish a few articles with it, you'll wonder why you've been using HTML this long. It's particularly useful when you need to make global changes, like copyrights :) DocBook is also widely supported by commercial and many non-commercial tools. In fact, once you have articles in DocBook format, you can convert them to formats like RTF, Postscript, and HTML.

Simplified DocBk XML

Recently, Norman Walsh created an XML version of DocBook called DocBk XML. Fortunately for us, he also created a simplified subset for writing articles called the Simplified DocBK XML DTD. The SDocBk homepage is The DTD and a CSS style sheet that will work in IE 5 is available. Norman has also written a set of XSL style-sheets that will work with DocBk XML and Simplified DocBk XML which are available at Norman has also created a set of DSSSL style sheets which can be used with Jade, written by James Clark, to convert DocBk to multiple formats. Swell! Jade can be downloaded for free at

Produced by Jonathan Eisenzopf
All Rights Reserved. Legal Notices.
Created: March 4, 2000
Revised: March 4, 2000