DocBook 5: The Definitive Guide as you see it on this site tracks the most current development release of DocBook, at the moment, that's DocBook V5.1b3.
The current O'Reilly edition covers DocBook V5.0, the OASIS Standard.
If you're using DocBook V5.0, you will find some things in this online text which are new or different from the OASIS Standard release.
1. Summary of Changes in DocBook V5.1
This section summarizes the changes made since DocBook V5.0.
FIXME: This needs to be updated
The largest change is the introduction of support for topic-based authoring
through the addition of the
topic element and the
structure. For more information about assemblies, see
Chapter 6, DocBook Assemblies.
DocBook V5.1 also addresses the following requests for enhancement:
RFE 1679665 Add better support for modular documentation.
RFE 1899655 Allow more elements to be the root of a DocBook document.
RFE 3368279 Make content optional in components and sections.
RFE 3384939 Fix XLink support. Allow extended links and other link types.
RFE 3530659 Allow admonitions in formal objects.
RFE 3531365 Allow navigation components at the beginnings of sections.
The following issues are also addressed:
Added accessibility attributes to CALS tables.
outputformatas a common effectivity attribute.
Fixed bug in Schematron assertions (several conditions were reversed).
Changed Schematron namespace to official ISO Schematron URI.
1.1. Backwards incompatible changes planned for DocBook V6.0
The following backwards incompatible changes are planned for DocBook V6.0:
The linking elements will be removed from the content model of
The common linking attributes will be removed from
xml:idattribute will be made required on
languageattribute will be removed from
2. About the formatting…
Starting with this edition of the guide, publication is being performed by the XSLT 2.0 stylesheets. Please report any formatting errors you notice.