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DocBook: The Definitive Guide

DocBook: The Definitive Guide

By Norman Walsh & Leonard Muellner
1st Edition October 1999
1-56592-580-7, Order Number: 5807
652 pages, $36.95 , Includes CD-ROM



MediaObject -- A displayed media object (video, audio, image, etc.)


Content Model

MediaObject ::=


Common attributes

Tag Minimization

Both the start- and end-tags are required for this element.

Parameter Entities



This element contains a set of alternative "media objects." In DocBook V3.1, three types of external objects are defined: VideoObjects, AudioObjects, and ImageObjects. Additional textual descriptions may be provided with TextObjects.

Processing expectations

Formatted as a displayed block.

The primary purpose of the MediaObject is to provide a wrapper around a set of alternative presentations of the same information.

If possible, the processing system should use the content of the first object within the MediaObject. If the first object cannot be used, the remaining objects should be considered in the order that they occur. A processor should use the first object that it can, although it is free to choose any of the remaining objects if the primary one cannot be used.

Under no circumstances should more than one object in a MediaObject be used or presented at the same time.

For example, a MediaObject might contain a video, a high resolution image, a low resolution image, a long text description, and a short text description. In a "high end" online system, the video is used. For print publishing, the high resolution image is used. For other online systems, either the high or low resolution image is used, possibly including the short text description as the online alternative. In a text-only environment, either the long or short text descriptions are used.

(5.0) Future Changes

In DocBook V5.0, MediaObject will replace Graphic.


The following elements occur in MediaObject: AudioObject, Caption, ImageObject, ObjectInfo, TextObject, VideoObject.

In some contexts, the following elements are allowed anywhere: BeginPage, IndexTerm.

See Also

Alt, AudioObject, Caption, Graphic, ImageObject, InlineGraphic, InlineMediaObject, TextObject, VideoObject


For examples, see AudioObject, ImageObject, InformalFigure, VideoObject.

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