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Subject: RE: [dita-comment] Order of elements within a taskbody

Thanks so much folks. I certainly didn't expect such a fast response.


I like your belated better answer, Michael. The shortdesc is a bit
restrictive in that it doesn't allow lists, which we do need in some


JoAnn, I like the answer about flexibility in the output, but we're
using Frame's DITA template and one of our outputs is PDF, so we pretty
much need the order flexibility in the source EDD to accommodate the




By the way, I'm quite impressed by the DITA spec overall. I'm new to
DITA but not to structure, and I think you've done a great job on the
document model.   





From: Michael Priestley [mailto:mpriestl@ca.ibm.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2008 11:05 AM
To: Michael Priestley
Cc: Christina Hardy; dita-comment@lists.oasis-open.org; JoAnn Hackos
Subject: RE: [dita-comment] Order of elements within a taskbody


Belated better answer: we do have a design in plan for 1.2 for a more
general model of task that will allow them to occur in any order. The
looser model will be available as an alternative to the more restrictive

Michael Priestley
Lead IBM DITA Architect 

Michael Priestley/Toronto/IBM@IBMCA 

01/08/2008 10:58 AM 


"JoAnn Hackos" <joann.hackos@comtech-serv.com> 


"Christina Hardy" <chardy@nakinasystems.com>,


RE: [dita-comment] Order of elements within a taskbody




There's a section before both prereq and context called shortdesc or 
abstract - stuff that people need to evaluate before they decide whether

the task is worth doing can be there, followed by prereqs so they know 
whether they can do it, followed by context that sets the stage for
the actual steps, then the actual steps.

It's easy to forget shortdesc/abstract because they're outside the body,

but they're an important part of the model.

Michael Priestley
Lead IBM DITA Architect 

"JoAnn Hackos" <joann.hackos@comtech-serv.com> 
01/08/2008 10:40 AM

"Christina Hardy" <chardy@nakinasystems.com>, 

RE: [dita-comment] Order of elements within a taskbody

You can easily change the output order of the two elements during
processing. The order in which you write something does not need to be
the order in which you render the elements.

JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD
Comtech Services, Inc.
710 Kipling Street, Suite 400
Denver CO 80215

-----Original Message-----
From: Christina Hardy [mailto:chardy@nakinasystems.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2008 8:32 AM
To: dita-comment@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [dita-comment] Order of elements within a taskbody

We've just started using the Frame DITA EDD and have the following
comment on the DITA spec v 1.1:

It doesn't make sense to put the Prereq section before the task context,
given that the context should be providing the information that the user
needs to determine whether they should perform that task.

For example, if I'm trying to decide whether I need to back up my
system, I need the information that helps me decide whether a backup is
required or not (the context) before I need to know that I have to get
some type of media to back up to (the prerequisite).

I note that there seems to have been some discussion around this by
Eliot Kimber around November 27, 2007, who is requesting something
similar - i.e., that the two elements be allowed to occur in any order.
No resolution, it seems, but I'd like to second the request.


Christina Hardy

Technical Writer, Nakina Systems

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