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DocBook for eLearning

Calendar March 31, 2011 | User Jim Earley


For more than a decade, DocBook has provided a structured markup vocabulary for hardware and software documentation. DocBook is now widely used in both commercial and Open Source environments. DocBook has a very broad element set, and applies to much more than just technical documentation. The DocBook TC is engaged in evolving the suite of DocBook specifications. The community benefits from having a standard, open, interchangeable vocabulary in which to write structured content. DocBook has been, and will continue to be, designed to satisfy this requirement.

The OASIS DocBook SubCommittee for eLearning is chartered to develop and maintain official variants of DocBook in support of the eLearning industry. Specifically, the subcommittee will focus on schema and stylesheet customizations to support:

  • Develop and design a DocBook-based method for creating reusable learning objects, and the learning content types needed to support them. Some specifics of the design for learning content include:
    • learning types, including assessments and exercises
    • a content assembly for structuring, sequencing and managing the learning types as reusable learning objects
    • linking and relationships between learning objects
    • interactions
  • Establish guidelines that promote best practices for applying DocBook markup to learning content

Scope of Work

This subcommittee will submit additional enhancements back to the full DocBook standard as appropriate. The scope of this DocBook subcommittee is eLearning content. Broadly, this includes online learning, instructor-led training and other related educational materials.

This effort will deliver on the following goals:

  • Build official DocBook variants, based against the DocBook v5.0 schemas.
  • Address issues and enhancement requests that have arisen from experience with real-world DocBook and eLearning implementations.
  • Add support for features specific to the eLearning industry.

We already have 5 members, who are very eager to get started! If you are an OASIS member and would like to participate, please let me know!

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