#214 Allow ackno in book

DocBook (176)

Books may also have Acknowledgements, not just
articles. This would support commercial publishing,
perhaps even technical publications.


  • Norman Walsh

    Norman Walsh - 2006-11-01

    Logged In: YES

    How are acknowledgements in a book different from a preface
    or an appendix with the title "acknowledgements"?

    Books already have lots of places
    (preface,appendix,colophon) to put acknowledgements of
    various sorts.

  • Scott Hudson

    Scott Hudson - 2006-11-01

    Logged In: YES

    Actually, I was wondering the difference between ackno and
    dedication. Should these be merged, and allowed in both book
    and article?

    Preface is for introductory material, and would not be
    suitable for generating a separate Acknowledgements page, IMO.

    Colophon contains factual information about the book,
    especially about its production, and includes details about
    typographic style, the fonts used, the paper used, and
    perhaps the binding method of the book. This doesn't seem
    appropriate for acknowledgements, either.

    Appendix is for supplementary material, so semantically, I
    don't think this is appropriate for Acknowledgements either.

  • Norman Walsh

    Norman Walsh - 2006-11-01

    Logged In: YES

    I must not understand your use case. What goes in the
    acknowledgements and where in the book does it appear?

  • Scott Hudson

    Scott Hudson - 2006-11-01

    Logged In: YES

    In one of the sample books I'm working with, there is a
    separate dedication at the front of the book. In the back of
    the book is an Acknowledgements section.

    The Acknowledgements could actually go anywhere in the book,
    as one of the db.components. Article could be used, but
    that's really a stretch, and an existing ackno element exists.

    I would like ackno to be allowed in book as one of the high
    level components that can be in any order in the book.
    Semantically, acknowledgements are very different from
    dedication, colophon, preface, appendix, article, etc.

  • Michael(tm) Smith

    Logged In: YES

    When I worked in textbook publishing, many of the books we published were literary anthologies that
    included stories, essays, plays, and images that were the copyrighted work of others and that we had
    received the rights holders' permission to republish. We had a permissons department that negotiated
    with rights holders for those permissions, and the rights holders often gave them specific copyright
    statements the text of which they required us to include in the published work. The component of the
    books in which those statements were included was titled Acknowledgements. It typically ran to 5
    pages or more. We also had our own Copyright page for each book, but that was always only one page
    and had only the copyright statement for the book itself.

    I guess acknowlegements could be marked up as a preface or appendix with the title
    "Acknowlegements", but then so could a dedication or a colophon. And it's difficult to see the
    rationale behind allowing Ackno in Article but not in Book.

  • Scott Hudson

    Scott Hudson - 2007-02-23

    Logged In: YES
    Originator: YES

    Courtesy of Michael Smith (from docbook-apps discussion):

    On the other hand, Acknowledgements and Dedication have specific
    specialized purposes that are different from just being general
    introductions or prefaces or forwards to a book.

    In the case of a dedication for work written in English, the
    content typically has the following characteristics:

    - if a book contains a dedication, it almost always occurs near
    the beginning of the book
    - a dedication is almost always untitled
    - a dedication has as its complete contents something very
    short (usually a single paragraph) that starts either with the
    phrase "This book is dedicated to..." or simply simply just a
    phrase like "For FooBar, who made it all possible"

    An Acknowledgements section is different in that it has the
    following characteristics:

    - acknowlegements may occur either near the beginning or the end
    of a book
    - acknowledgements are almost always titled
    - the contents of an acknowledgements section may be quite long;
    for example, in, say, a work that includes code snippets from
    other copyrighted books or screenshots from multiple programs,
    the Acknowledgements section may contain statements like:

    Page 519. The screenshot from the program FooBar is
    Copyright 2007 by the FooBar Company and is used with

    Page 543. The "HogeMoge" code snippet is Copyright 2005 by
    the HogeMoge Project and is used with permission.

    Such kinds of Acknowledgements sections can run to multiple

    I know some authors might use Acknowledgements to mark up what is
    really a dedication, but I don't think any author is going to use
    a dedication to mark up acknowledgements.

    So what I'd assert why we need a separate element for Dedication is:

    - a dedication is very different from a preface; while a preface
    is typically titled and runs to some lenght, a dedication is
    typically untitled and contains only a very short text
    starting with "For..."

    And what I'd assert about why we need a separate element for

    - acknowledgements, like prefaces, are typically titled

    - acknowledgments have a more specific type of content than
    a general preface; for example, acknowledgements often contain
    statements about permissions granted to reproduce things like
    code snippets and screenshots

    - acknowledgments occur either near the beginning or end of a book

    - for an acknowledgements section that occurs at the beginning
    of a book, a possible case could be made for just marking it up
    using Preface with the title Acknowledgements, though some
    authors might see that as shoe-horning Acknowledgements in
    somewhere where doesn't it doesn't naturally fit

    - for an acknowledgments section that occurs at the end of a
    book, and author could use Appendix with the title
    Acknowledgments -- but I think many authors would see that as
    an even worse shoe-horning into a poor fit than marking up
    Acknowledgements with Preface would be; for one thing, when
    processed with, for example, the DocBook XSLT stylesheets,
    that markup is going to produce something like:

    Appendix A: Acknowledgements

    I've never seen a book that had an acknowledgements section
    that was a labeled appendix like that. So I don't think marking
    up an acknowledgements section as a class of appendix would be
    a good way to go.

    So I think there's a good case for saying that it would be useful
    to have a new Acknowledgements element that's different in
    addition to the elements we already have that could be seen as
    related to the acknowledgements use case -- Dedication, Preface,
    possibly Appendix -- becausethere are in fact differences and
    requirements that make those existing elements unsuitable for
    marking up the contents of acknowledgements in the places
    (front/back) in a book where acknowledgements can possibly occur.

  • Norman Walsh

    Norman Walsh - 2007-03-23

    Logged In: YES
    Originator: NO

    Fixed in 5.0CR3

  • Norman Walsh

    Norman Walsh - 2007-03-23
    • status: open --> closed-fixed

Log in to post a comment.