DAVENPORT - To the Davenporters

From     owner-davenport@berkshire.net Sat Jun 27 09:26:28 1998
Date:    Fri, 26 Jun 1998 18:47:42 -0400
To:      davenport@berkshire.net
From:    "Eve L. Maler" <elm@arbortext.com>
Subject: DAVENPORT: To the Davenporters

Dear Davenporters,

The Davenport Group is undergoing change. Seven years ago, Davenport began as a think tank for people involved in electronic computer documentation, and we tackled some pretty controversial topics, the first of which was "Why use this SGML thing at all?" In recent years, Davenport has been known primarily as the owner and maintainer of the DocBook DTD -- sometimes a source a controversy itself. The process has certainly taught a lot of us about SGML, vendor offerings, advanced research, and group dynamics. . .

DocBook has become an important tool in the publication toolboxes of many organizations and even individuals, and the Davenport sponsors have been delighted at its success. However, as the backlog of bug reports and enhancement requests grows, and with the advent of XML, it's clear that DocBook is due for some revision. We take the responsibility of DocBook maintenance seriously (though we've managed to retain our charming and quirky personalities :-), and want to ensure that the needs of DocBook users are attended to. However, the sponsors have been operating under resource constraints that perhaps have left DocBook a little neglected.

We felt that the best way to ensure proper support in the future was to entrust the DTD to a more formal organization that would have DocBook's best interests at heart. OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (http://www.oasis-open.org), has agreed to take over the maintenance of DocBook and its associated mailing lists and web site, and Davenport sponsors have worked with OASIS to ensure that the technical committee taking up the DocBook work will operate in a manner that's fair to the large base of DocBook users, while accounting for OASIS ground rules. (We also hope and expect that some long-time DocBook developers will be involved in the committee.)

This means that we've reached the end of the Davenport era, though this saddens those of us who have been around during the "schism" and "DocBook V1.2" and a host of other milestones. The new OASIS group will be called the DocBook Technical Committee, and its charter will focus specifically on the DocBook application.

So the Davenport sponsors would like take this opportunity to extend our gratitude to all of you Davenporters who have contributed to our work through participating in this mail list, attending face-to-face meetings, or donating code or documentation. We hope you'll find a way to participate in the DocBook Special Interest Group that will be formed under the aegis of OASIS.

More information about the switchover will be forthcoming; stay tuned.

Best regards,

      Eve Maler

      For the Davenport sponsors, past and present