$Revision: 1666 $

$Date: 2002-06-12 07:19:37 -0400 (Wed, 12 Jun 2002) $

refpurpose — A short (one sentence) synopsis of the topic of a reference page


Mixed Content Model

refpurpose ::=


Common attributes


The RefPurpose is a concise summary of the topic of the reference page. A RefPurpose is usually limited to a single, short sentence.

Processing expectations

Formatted inline. See RefNameDiv.

In a large Reference, RefNames and RefPurposes are sometimes used to construct a permuted index. A permuted index is a keyword-in-context concordance of lines, like the short definitions in this element reference; the keyword cycles alphabetically through the words of the (definition) lines.

Formatting reference pages may require a fairly sophisticated processing system. Much of the meta-information about a reference page (its name, type, purpose, title, and classification) is stored in wrappers near the beginning of the RefEntry.

Common presentational features, such as titles and running headers, may require data from several of these wrappers plus some generated text. Other formatting often requires that these elements be reordered.

Future Changes

The InterfaceDefinition element will be discarded in DocBook V4.0. It will no longer be available in the content model of this element.


These elements contain refpurpose: refnamediv.


For examples, see refentry, reference.