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Re: Documenting DTD's


	You have hit on an age-long problem with DTDs.  DTDs
are usually always evolving and the documentation has to 
evolve with it.  Often the documentation is out of sync.

	Comments inside a DTD are always good.  If you can
document the DTD in a standard way, you can do some autogeneration
of the documentation.  You can use you favorite scripting language.

	I have developed my own DTD for documenting DTD's and
this really helps me in the organization and development of
the documentation.  Some of the tools that I find invaluable

Earl Hood's DTD to HTML - This is Perl Script developed for SGML
     DTD's but works with XML.
Opentext's (nee Microstar's) Near and Far Designer - This gives
     a very nice graphical representation of the DTD and hierarchy.
Extensibility - Also gives a graphical representation.  I prefer
     Near and Far though because I found that it is a better parser.

The nice thing about doing the documentation in XML is that you
can transform it to whatever format is necessary for publication.
Also, depending on your requirements it is also easy to manipulate
the documentation.

Hope this helps and good luck.


Betty Harvey                         | Phone: 410-787-9200 FAX: 9830 
Electronic Commerce Connection, Inc. |        
harvey@eccnet.com                    | Washington,DC SGML/XML Users Grp
URL:  http://www.eccnet.com          | http://www.eccnet.com/xmlug/

On Thu, 14 Jun 2001, Bob Wait wrote:

> I just spent a half hour listening to our docs/help person complain about
> the uselessness of generating documents containing english language
> descriptions of elements defined in DTDs.  As soon as she writes the stuff
> it's obsolete or vague, and why should she be a middlewoman adding little
> additional real value between the DTD writer and the DTD consumer, etc.
> So, two questions for the list: a) is there a javadoc-like standard for
> adding comments to DTDs and a set of tools out there for extracting them
> and, better, b) is there a tool out there that will read a DTD and produce a
> decent picture of the elements and their relationships?  I'm sure there must
> be something out there we could leverage before we roll our own...
> b
> PS And of course I'm interested in anyone's experience/thoughts on
> generating and maintaining useful documentation for DTDs.
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