new member

Sean Wheller sean at
Tue Feb 15 07:25:44 UTC 2005

On Tuesday 15 February 2005 08:38, Liz wrote:
> > Dunno much about how Abiword manages opening existing Docbook XML
> > Documents and saving them. I know that it was good for exporting
> > articles. Anyway if you have problems let me know and I will gladly help.
> >
> > Again, welcome.
> thank you :)
> ok..i installed all the packages for docbook. no idea where to find the
> run file for it. no idea how to use it. is it an actual program or
> software for editing xml pages etc?
> sometimes i can be completely dense.

Hello Liz,

No worries. You cannot actually execute the Docbook packages by themselves.

When you say you have installed "the packages for docbook" I assume you are 
referring to the toolchain listed at   #Toolchain

Quick Tour

Think of the Docbook DTD as a bunch of rules against which all our XML docs 
must be valid.

Think of the Docbook XSL's as a bunch of scripts upon which we build.

Standalone these two components do nothing. They are just static ASCII files.

Think of xsltproc as a processing machine. In our system we use it only to 
derive formats other than XML. To do this we feed the processing machine an 
XML file (one of our documents) and an XSL. When this happens it first checks 
thatthey XML doc is valid against the DTD and then it applies the scripts 
found in the XSL's to that document. It does not change the XML Document, 
rather it transforms it to a new format, like HTML.

As a writer you don't have to worry about this stuff too much. But I explain 
it because you may be interested.

The part you must focus on in the XML documents. The first hurdle you may have 
is knowing what tags to use where. For the most part there are tags in the 
documents that you can already follow. However, should you want to do 
something special use the Docbook Definitive Guide [1]. In fact a quick read 
ofthat should give you the idea. TIP: don't learn XML, learn Docbook and 
you'll be learning XML.

We have provided a convenience script in the root of trunk/  called Use this to validate your documents, it will tell you if you 
have errors in your markup. For example, to use the script do ./ 

Don't worry if you don't get the markup correct. We will fix any problems and 
let you know what was wrong, so that you can learn. There are many people on 
the project learning Docbook while they write. Just have fun and don't feel 
stupid if you don't know. :-)

Sean Wheller
Technical Author
sean at
Registered Linux User #375355
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