The Simplified DocBook Document Type

Committee Specification 1.1, 01 Apr 2004

Document identifier:

cs-docbook-simple-1.1 (XML, HTML, PDF)



Norman Walsh, Sun Microsystems, Inc. 


Simplified DocBook is a subset of DocBook XML V4.3. It is a a general purpose XML document type suited to articles about computer hardware and software (though it is by no means limited to these applications).


This is a working draft constructed by the editor. It is not an official committee work product and may not reflect the consensus opinion of the committee.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Terminology
3. The Simplified DocBook Document Type V1.1
3.1. Usage
4. Changes in Simplified DocBook V1.1
5. Changes in Simplified DocBook V1.1CR2
6. Changes in Simplified DocBook V1.1CR1
7. Changes in Simplified DocBook V1.1b3
8. Changes in Simplified DocBook V1.1b2
9. Changes in Simplified DocBook V1.1b1
10. Release Notes


A. OASIS DocBook Technical Committee (Non-Normative)
B. Notices
C. Intellectual Property Rights
D. Revision History

1. Introduction

DocBook is general purpose document type particularly well suited to books and papers about computer hardware and software (though it is by no means limited to these applications).

Simplified DocBook is an attempt to provide a proper subset of DocBook that is simultaneously smaller and still useful. Its original genesis was a desire to make "the HTML subset of DocBook," that is, a subset that had roughly as many tags as HTML and roughly the same descriptive power.

The DocBook Technical Committee maintains the Simplified DocBook schema. Simplified DocBook is officially available as an [XML] Document Type Definition (DTD).

The Version 1.1 release is based on DocBook V4.3.

The DocBook Technical Committee welcomes bug reports and requests for enhancement (RFEs) from the user community. The current list of outstanding requests is available through the SourceForge tracker interface. This is also the preferred mechanism for submitting new requests. Old RFEs, from a previous legacy tracking system, are archived for reference.

2. Terminology

The key words must, must not, required, shall, shall not, should, should not, recommended, may, and optional in this Committee Specification are to be interpreted as described in [RFC 2119]. Note that for reasons of style, these words are not capitalized in this document.

3. The Simplified DocBook Document Type V1.1

The Simplified DocBook document type is a subset of [DocBook V4.3]. It is distributed from the DocBook site at OASIS.

3.1. Usage

To use this document type, specify the public and system identifiers in your document type declaration. For example:

<!DOCTYPE article PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD Simplified DocBook XML V1.1//EN"

Naturally, you can include an internal subset if you wish.

To incorporate this module into a higher-level customization layer, use the public and system identifiers of this module's customization layer in your own. For example:

<!DOCTYPE % sdocbook PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD Simplified DocBook XML Customization V1.1//EN"

4. Changes in Simplified DocBook V1.1

There are no technical changes in the V1.1 official release.

5. Changes in Simplified DocBook V1.1CR2

Simplified DocBook V1.1CR2 fixes a few bugs present in V1.1CR1. Some of these bugs are the result of a build error; although V1.1 is based on DocBook XML V4.3, the V1.1CR1 release included bits of DocBook XML V4.4. This error has been corrected.

  • The imageobjectco tag has been removed; it should never have been present.

  • The spacing attribute has been removed from variablelist.

  • The package element has been removed.

  • The biblioref element has been removed.

  • The content model of subscript and superscript have been adjusted so that they no longer contain references to elements not present in Simplified DocBook.

6. Changes in Simplified DocBook V1.1CR1

Simplified DocBook V1.1CR1 adds the subscript and superscript elements.

7. Changes in Simplified DocBook V1.1b3

Simplified DocBook V1.1b3 adds the anchor element to a few more parameter entities, fixing the bug where it was not available in all the appropriate contexts in V1.1b2.

8. Changes in Simplified DocBook V1.1b2

Simplified DocBook V1.1b2 adds the anchor element and the remap attribute.

9. Changes in Simplified DocBook V1.1b1

Simplified DocBook V1.1 is based on DocBook V4.3. It introduces HTML tables but no other additional markup.

10. Release Notes


A. OASIS DocBook Technical Committee (Non-Normative)

The following individuals were members of the committee during the formulation of this Committee Specification:

  • Adam Di Carlo

  • Steve Cogorno

  • Gary Cornelius

  • Dick Hamilton

  • Nancy Harrison

  • Scott Hudson

  • Paul Grosso

  • Mark Johnson

  • Jirka Kosek

  • Larry Rowland

  • Michael Smith

  • Robert Stayton, Secretary

  • Norman Walsh, Chair, Editor

B. Notices

Copyright © 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 OASIS Open, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

OASIS takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any intellectual property or other rights that might be claimed to pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in this document or the extent to which any license under such rights might or might not be available; neither does it represent that it has made any effort to identify any such rights. Information on OASIS's procedures with respect to rights in OASIS specifications can be found at the OASIS website. Copies of claims of rights made available for publication and any assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of such proprietary rights by implementors or users of this specification, can be obtained from the OASIS Executive Director.

OASIS invites any interested party to bring to its attention any copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary rights which may cover technology that may be required to implement this specification. Please address the information to the OASIS Executive Director.

This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing the copyright notice or references to OASIS, except as needed for the purpose of developing OASIS specifications, in which case the procedures for copyrights defined in the OASIS Intellectual Property Rights document must be followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than English.

The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be revoked by OASIS or its successors or assigns.


OASIS has been notified of intellectual property rights claimed in regard to some or all of the contents of this specification. For more information consult the online list of claimed rights.

C. Intellectual Property Rights

For information on wether any patents have been disclosed that may be essential to implementing this specification, and any offers of patent licensing terms, please refer to the Intellectual Property Rights section of the DocBook web page (

D. Revision History

Revision 1.1 01 Apr 2005
Revision 1.1CR2 21 Oct 2004
Revision 1.1CR1 27 Jul 2004
Revision 1.1b3 31 Mar 2004
Revision 1.1b2 18 Mar 2004
Revision 1.1b1 21 Dec 2003



[XML] Tim Bray, Jean Paoli, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, et. al., editors. Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 (Third Edition). World Wide Web Consortium, 04 Feb 2004.

[RFC 2119] IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). RFC 2119: Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. S. Bradner. 1997.

[DocBook V4.3] Norman Walsh, editor. The DocBook Document Type: Version 4.3. OASIS, 2004.