DocBook – FrameMaker – MediaWiki – DocBook

To my former creative colleague, while at Sun Microsystems, Wilfred Springer, now at TomTom.

Hi Wilfred,

Seeing on your blog [ Distributed Reflections of the Third Kind] that you’re still a [ big fan of DocBook], allow me to pose a question.

I am in the process of writing an extensive pattern language (which I call pareltaal, for a number of reasons). Using a MediaWiki engine really helps a lot and allows collaboration among many to grow such a language. But one big drawback is that it’s easy to lose oversight. It’s hard to see the whole picture, especially with hundreds of patterns.

So, for the time being, I switched to FrameMaker, with its excellent cross reference features and its structured document capability. I’m not using the structured document powers yet, since they have a very steep learning curve for me. But I do see how it might help manage an ever evolving structured but loosely coupled pattern language. And it might also help in creating different views on the same source. Repurposing content, as they say. E.g. just a list of patlets with only the pattern name, problem and solution.

Anyway, I’m looking for a tool that allows collaborative writing and evolution of an extensive pattern language while keeping oversight and creating unlimited views on (parts of) the language. I’d like it to be able to support a ”’lossless bidirectional link between, say, FrameMaker and MediaWiki”’.


Succes en plezier,


Published by Martien van Steenbergen

Martien is a Master Agile & Lean Trainer & Coach.

Join the Conversation


  1. I think I see where you’re going with this. It is a little related to doing planguage right. Not sure if you know planguage, but if you don’t, then you are probably gonna like it.

    While searching for the ultimate tools to do planguage right, we considered many different options, including wiki (impossible to extract intent) and XML (to hard without tools supporting cross-referencing).

    … and I am sorry to say I haven’t found the answer yet.

  2. Hmmm… planguage? Do you mean [ The Planguages Project], the programming approach that eases the task of writing parallel programs that harness massively parallel computers and networks of workstations?

    Or the [ Planning Language]?

    Even [ WikiPedia doesn’t have a clue on Planguage]

    Can you share a pointer with me?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.