DocBook is a general purpose XML and SGML document type particularly well suited to books and papers about computer hardware and software (though it is by no means limited to these applications).
|For the impatient|
In the next sections we will be explaining about the theoretical side of DocBook, its origins, development, advantages and disadvantages. If you just want the practical side, check out these sections for an overview of HOWTO DocBook: , Appendix D, and Appendix E from this guide.
Although there are other DTDs used to write documentation, there are a few reasons not to use them.
DocBook is the most popular DTD, being used by more than a dozen major open source projects from GNOME to Python to FreeBSD.
The tools for DocBook are more developed than others. DocBook support is included in most Linux distributions, allowing you to send raw files to be processed at the receiver's end.
And finally, DocBook has an extensive set of tags (over 300 in all) which is very useful when you are trying to describe the content of a document. Fortunately for new authors the majority of them do not need to be used for simple documentation.
Still not convinced? Eric Raymond has written a DocBook Demystification HOWTO which may help.
Convinced, but still not comfortable with the thought of working with DocBook? Give David Lawyer's Howtos-with-LinuxDoc-mini-HOWTO a try.