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Subject: Re: [dita-help] Default Topic in Help Output

The difference (as I understand the OT and DITA -- which I am happy to be corrected on) between @print and a suggested @help is that the print cascades through the branch on which it is declared, so if declared more than once on the same branch it has no effect.

I am not sure this would be true with an attribute used in the manner you suggest, although the user simplicity looks appealing.

Having said that, where the information is stored would probably be abstracted by a HAT, so there may need to be more consideration involved for processing than storage.

Which leads me to two further questions:
1. Do the topics have to be within the current ditamap?
2. If there are multiple topics defined in the project through an attribute (as clearly there could be), what rules would be used for resolving conflict? This may also impact on when and how conditions are applied within the toolkit to ensure a non-existent page is not used.


From: Scott Prentice <sp@leximation.com>
To: "Goolsby, Chris" <cgoolsby@ptc.com>
Cc: ian balanza-davis <ibalanza_davis@yahoo.co.uk>; tself@hyperwrite.com; dita-help@lists.oasis-open.org
Sent: Tuesday, 26 May, 2009 16:40:47
Subject: Re: [dita-help] Default Topic in Help Output

As Chris points out, this is definitely not HH-specific .. AIR Help uses them as well, and I'd think that most future "Help" implementations will have something similar. It would seem that if some mechanism is added to the DITA spec it should be defined as a generic "Help" extension.

I'm not convinced that it's better to have this implemented through map metadata as opposed to an attribute on a topicref. In some cases it might be more convenient to define this as metadata, but that would require the need to reference the actual topic which will introduce the possibility of error in mistyping the topic filename (or keyref). Is there a precedent for this type of metadata-base referencing?

I see this as being similar to the topicref/@print attribute, and is more of a functional/structural issue rather than metadata. I could see a topicref/@help attribute that could have the following values .. "yes|no|defaultTopic|homeTopic|??" .. (I assume that the first topic in map is just that, and doesn't need to be specifically defined?)



Goolsby, Chris wrote:
> It’s not necessarily just for the HTML Help format. Our DMP product also allows for these three designations. However, we currently do it in an external configuration file, rather than in the map. We also allow for a fourth topic designation – the topic to be displayed should the Help system have a “Help” button. In our case, that brings up a topic that’s the entry point to the online help for actual Help system , though it could also be product and version information, etc.

> Metadata in the map does seem like a reasonable way to approach these.

> Chris

> *From:* ian balanza-davis [mailto:ibalanza_davis@yahoo.co.uk]
> *Sent:* Tuesday, May 26, 2009 7:50 AM
> *To:* tself@hyperwrite.com; dita-help@lists.oasis-open.org
> *Subject:* Re: [dita-help] Default Topic in Help Output

> Hi Tony
> From my point of view the ditamap seems to be a good place to start, although given the nature of the information would storing this as part of the map metadata be the logical location rather than the specific topicref or topicrefs?
> One further question: HTML help is currently ubiquitous, but by placing information in the ditamap for a specific output format, are we potentially reducing the long-term ease by which other formats can be output from the same ditamap?
> Ian

> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Tony Self <tself@hyperwrite.com>
> *To:* dita-help@lists.oasis-open.org
> *Sent:* Monday, 25 May, 2009 5:51:22
> *Subject:* [dita-help] Default Topic in Help Output
> Greetings colleagues
> A recent question on the Yahoo! DITA Users list was about how to nominate a
> topic other than the first topic as the default page in a CHM output using
> the DITA OT. Deborah Pickett provided a workaround solution, which was to
> adjust the DITA OT map2hhp.xsl file, and to mark up the topicref of the
> default topic in the ditamap with a specific outputclass attribute (eg,
> "start-topic").
> It occurs to me that this is likely to be a common requirement for all
> tri-pane outputs. To support a nominated default topic option without using
> this outputclass workaround would require a specification change, I believe.
> To be thorough, we would probably need to consider a home topic option as
> well; that is, the topic that displays when the Home button in the tri-pane
> is pressed. So that would mean there are three "first" or "top" topics:
> . the first topic in the map (and therefore in the TOC tree)
> . the first topic displayed when the Help is opened
> . the topic that is displayed when Home is selected.
> It seems logical that this information should reside in the ditamap. I'm not
> sure whether its logical location is as an attribute of the topicref
> element, though.
> Any thoughts?
> Tony Self
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