OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

dita-help message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

Subject: Re: [dita-help] Context-Sensitivity

"Tony Self" <tself@hyperwrite.com> wrote on 16/03/2008 03:14:31 PM:
> I wonder if we can get some discussion going on how context-
> sensitivity might be approached in DITA.
> If DITA embraces the objective of separation of content from form,
> do context-hooks belong in the DITA content, or are they part of the
> presentation layer?

I can see arguments for placing it in the topic, and for placing it in the map.  It depends on the type of hook.

Examples from our software: we have many different types of graphical plots, each with their own ID (example: plot 10000 might be the Time To Fill Plastic Part plot).  Here, we tell the topic that describes this plot that it is the help for plot 10000.  When the accompanying software displays plot 10000, the user should be shown the matching help topic.  In this case, it makes sense to do it at the topic level, because this association is invariant.  But for a "What's New in $product" topic, which is launched from the Help > What's New menu item in the application, I would argue that the hook is only relevant to this particular deliverable, implying that putting the context ID into the map is the right thing to do.

When I say "put it in the map", I am avoiding the question of whether it goes in (1) as a child <topicmeta> at the point where that topicref goes; (2) into a reltable elsewhere in the map; or even (3) into a non-DITA XML file, which both Software Engineering and Documentation groups can edit, and which is parsed during the help build.  This last one is probably stretching the definition of "map", but it might be right for organizations where context IDs are more of a collaboration between Software Engineering and Documentation.

Moldflow puts all context-sensitive help hook ids into the topic, for the record.  This wasn't really a conscious decision; it was more a result of the historical migration that our topics did from their previous non-DITA incarnation.  Moving some to the maps is on our to-do list.

Deborah Pickett
Information Architect, Moldflow Pty Ltd, Melbourne

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]