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Subject: Public Comment

Comment from: hedley.finger@myob.com

Name: Hedley Finger
Title: Tech. Comms Tools & Processes Specialist
Organization: MYOB Australia Pty Ltd
Regarding Specification: DITA v 1.0

[!-- I tried to send the below to <dita-comment@lists.oasis-open.org>, advertised on the OASIS DITA TC home page as an address for "Comments from general public" but was bounced with this error message:
"Sorry, only subscribers may post."  So how do you get to be a subscriber to this public forum -- there's no checkbox for it in the Subscription Manager at <http://www.oasis-open.org/mlmanage/main.php>? --]

On previous occasions, both here and in the dita-users forum, I have
suggested that the selection|conditional|profiling attributes listed under
%select-atts; in the DITA Language Specification are inadequate and that
there must be some way to specialise them or add to them.  For example, we
need to include content directed to a particular market, so a "market"
attribute would be good.

But it would also be nice to allow multiple values in the %select-atts;.
For example, here customers are referred to the Kuala Lumpur office if they
live in either Malaysia or Singapore but to the Jakarta office if they live
in Indonesia:
      <p>Please contact Fulfillment at
      <ph market=" Mkt_my Mkt_sg ">Nerida Support,
            Jayana Way 23, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia</ph>
      <ph market=" Mkt_id>Barat Software,
            109-4 Menidii Pl., Jakarta, Sumatra</ph>.</p>

When the publication is generated for Malaysia, the appropriate fragment is
included, and the same fragment is included for the Singapore publication.
But the alternative fragment is included for the Indonesian publication.

In fact, with this model:

@     multiple values in an attribute OR
@     the truth values of conditional attributes of an element AND

For example, if
      market=" Mkt_my Mkt_sg "
      platform=" Linux-rh Linux-suse "
      product=" Blah-lite Blah-med "
this would equate to
      (Mkt_my OR Mkt_sg) AND (Linux-rh OR Linux-suse) AND (Blah-lite OR

      Mkt_my is TRUE
      Mkt_sg is FALSE
      Linux-rh is FALSE
      Linux-suse is FALSE
      Blah-lite is FALSE
      Blah-med is TRUE
then the boolean expression successively simplifies to
=     FALSE

and the following paragraph would not appear:

      <p market=" Mkt_my Mkt_sg " platform=" Linux-rh Linux-suse "
product=" Blah-lite Blah-med ">
      You can obtain free distribution CDs for BlahBlah Lite for SuSE or
Red Hat from Barat Software.</p>

So can all %select-atts; be changed from CDATA to NMTOKENS, please?

Incidentally, where a group of attributes has a common purpose, e.g. to
allow content to be included conditionally, what about giving them a
descriptive prefix so that they will sort together in an attribute editor
when a writer is entering and conditioning content?  I would suggest
something like

platform --> cond-plat  OR  cond-platform
product --> cond-prod  OR  cond-product
otherprops --> cond-misc  OR cond-miscel
rev --> cond-rev

etc.  Other attributes with a common purpose should also have a distinctive
and descriptive prefix.


Hedley Finger
Technical Communications Support Specialist
MYOB Australia <http://www.myob.com/>
P.O. box 371   Blackburn VIC 3130   Australia
12 Wesley Court   Tally Ho Business Park   East Burwood VIC 3151
Tel. +61 3 9222 9992 x 7421,   Mob. (cell) +61 412 461 558

(c) MYOB Technology Pty Ltd 2005

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