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Re: Publishing tool ideas for W3C editors

From: Eve L. Maler <Eve.Maler@east.sun.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 12:11:16 -0400
Message-Id: <4.3.1.2.20000720120357.00bc6770@abnaki.East.Sun.Com>
To: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Cc: spec-prod@w3.org
Hi Ian-- I only have a little time right now to respond, but am very 
interested in your project.  More below.

At 11:13 AM 7/20/00 -0400, Ian Jacobs wrote:
>Hello,
>
>Philippe Le Hégaret and I are discussing what tools we can
>make available to W3C editors to make it easier to publish
>technical reports. Philippe has recently rewritten the production
>scripts for the DOM specification using the DOM (in java). Given
>a document that uses the DOM spec DTD [3], the java scripts (which
>still require some testing) produce a document that has a good
>chance of conforming to the W3C publication rules [1]. (The java
>scripts will be available on the public cvs server [2].)

I thought that the DOM folks were using XMLspec.  I specifically included a 
bunch of structures for them a year ago.  Their processing scripts are way 
different from the usual XSLT stylesheet that others use, though.

>Here's our idea:
>
>1) Provide tools to W3C editors to make publishing easier,
>    but don't require people to use them to conform to the
>    publication rules.
>
>2) Make available a standard XML format for W3C specs. To this
>    end, the DOM and XML WGs should strive to use a common XML
>    format.

I would suggest that XMLspec be "canonicalized" and that a web page be 
provided that, given a valid XMLspec input, returns various forms of 
output.  Single-page HTML, chunked HTML, and possibly PDF would be good 
contenders.  The XSLT stylesheet I use (mostly written by Chris Maden, Ben 
Trafford, and me, and currently maintained by Chris) produces a pretty 
close facsimile to W3C HTML/style requirements.

>3) Given a document that conforms to the common format, offer
>    tools (e.g., xslt style sheets or java scripts) that will
>    generate a TR document. Philippe's scripts offer the following
>    functionalities:
>
>      1) They generate a table of contents and sub-tables
>         of contents.
>      2) They generate/manage an index.

I don't know of any TRs that actually have index entry, though there's 
plenty of in-line markup that could be used to generate hits (and 
interesting kinds of TOCs).  I could also add index entry markup to the DTD 
if anyone's interested.

>      3) They manage a list of references and
>         links to those references from the document.
>      4) They generate/manage a glossary.

Difficult given the current markup of XMLspec, since it assemes definitions 
are embedded in the text.  But I've been thinking about adding better 
support for true "glossary entry" markup.

>      5) They can be used to generate HTML 4. Tidy can be used
>         to turn these documents into XHTML.

Exists.

>      6) For the DOM, they manage interface definitions.

Exists, as you mentioned above.  May be useful for more and more TRs, as 
application-specific DOMs are invented.

>4) Given a valid XHTML document that uses some predefined classes,
>    offer an xslt style sheet to convert the document to
>    the common format.

>5) Given a valid HTML 4 document, tidy can be used to create a
>    valid XHTML document.
>
>In short, we would like people to be able to use the tools at
>various entry points. We would also like people to be able to
>use whatever tools they prefer to create their documents.
>
>Questions:
>
>1) Would people find this suite of tools useful?
>
>2) Would people with expertise in xslt volunteer to help
>    create the xhtml->xml translation?
>
>3) Do people have specific requirements for the common format?
>
>4) How extensible should the common format be?
>
>Any comments and suggestions are welcome.
>
>   - Ian
>
>[1] http://www.w3.org/Guide/pubrules
>[2] http://dev.w3.org/cvsweb/
>[3] http://www.w3.org/DOM/Group/drafts/pubtext/spec.dtd

Please also check out:

   http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/06/xmlspec.dtd (latest DTD)
   http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/06/xmlspec-v21.dtd (this release)
   http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/06/xmlspec-report.htm (latest doc'n)
   http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/06/xmlspec-report-v21.htm (this release)
   http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/06/xmlspec.xsl

Note that the XML specification itself, XLink, XPointer, and a bunch of 
other specs are using XMLspec already as-is.  I maintain it actively, with 
new releases every few months.

In summary, I think the idea is great, and we should leverage existing 
tools and practices as much as possible.

         Eve
--
Eve Maler                                    +1 781 442 3190
Sun Microsystems XML Technology Center    elm @ east.sun.com
Received on Thursday, 20 July 2000 12:10:49 UTC

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