Members Approve DocBook v4.5 as OASIS Standard

HP, IBM, PTC, SiberLogic, Sun Microsystems, and Others Advance Preferred Markup Vocabulary for Technical Documentation and Books

Boston, MA, USA; 18 October 2006 — OASIS, the international standards consortium, today announced that its members have approved DocBook version 4.5 as an OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification. Widely adopted by technical writers since its introduction in 1991, DocBook provides an XML markup vocabulary for authoring and exchange of prose content, especially technical documentation.

"DocBook enables you to author and store documents in a presentation-neutral form that captures the logical structure and semantics of the content," explained Norman Walsh of Sun Microsystems, chair of the OASIS DocBook Technical Committee. "With DocBook, you can transform and publish content in HTML, PDF, RTF, and many other formats. There have been lots of improvements, both large and small, since the last OASIS Standard version of DocBook, among them: new inline elements for finer control over content, improvements in internationalization and accessibility, support for HTML tables, more support for mathematics, and more generally available metadata."

"DocBook is used by authors of many types of publications, but its strongest proponents are found in the hardware and software documentation community," said Robin Cover, managing editor of Cover Pages. "Many of today's largest open source projects—including the Linux kernel, GNOME, KDE, Samba, and the Linux Documentation Project—use DocBook as their standard documentation format. This latest version is a testament to the marketplace's ongoing devotion to the standard."

DocBook allows authors to concentrate on the organization and meaning of their text without concern for how their final documents will appear. Presentation issues are handled separately by style sheets. DocBook's modular organization allows the document's metadata to be easily customized by the user. It defines a large body of tags to accommodate a wide range of applications and expectations.

"DocBook is a cornerstone of a group of OASIS Standards that focus on the document. Its 'cousins' include DITA and the OpenDocument format (ISO 26300)," noted Patrick Gannon, president and CEO of OASIS. "It's exciting to note how many participants in the OASIS DocBook Technical Committee have been members of our organization since it was founded in 1993 as SGML Open. We commend DocBook developers for continuing to advance this important standard and broaden its relevance to applications beyond hardware and software documentation."

Participation in the OASIS DocBook Technical Committee remains open to all; suppliers, end-users and system integrators are invited to join OASIS to advance the continued development and adoption of DocBook. OASIS hosts an open mail list for public comment on the standard.

Support for DocBook

"SiberLogic has championed DocBook since its early days as the definitive XML standard for techdoc content. It was a natural fit for SiberSafe, the industry's first commercial CMS solution for XML authoring teams. We are thrilled to have contributed to the latest release of this mature and versatile XML standard," said Alex Povzner, CEO, SiberLogic, Inc.

"Sun is proud to participate on the OASIS DocBook Technical Committee developing one of the world's most widely used open standards for technical documentation. DocBook V4.5 fixes a few small bugs and raises more than 50 enhancements to the level of OASIS Standard," said Norman Walsh, XML standards architect at Sun.

Additional information:

OASIS DocBook Technical Committee:


OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts. The consortium produces open standards for Web services, security, e-business, and standardization efforts in the public sector and for application-specific markets. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries. Approved OASIS Standards include AVDL, BCM, CAP, DITA, DocBook, DSML, ebXML CPPA, ebXML Messaging, ebXML Registry, EDXL-DE, EML, OpenDocument, SAML, SPML, UBL, UDDI, WSDM, WS-Reliability, WSRF, WSRP, WS-Security, XACML, XCBF, and XML Catalogs.