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Subject: Re: [dita-lightweight-dita] Does <data> need @href?

Additionally, we heard from several folks in the DITA listening sessions that they want the ability to associate common metadata with topics. Wouldn’t the @href allow that opportunity to link out to external metadata? If so, I think it should remain in both LW and full DITA.


Thanks and best regards,




Scott Hudson
Content Strategist

Digital Aviation Learning & Development 


Jeppesen  |  Digital Aviation  |  Boeing

55 Inverness Drive East Englewood, CO 80112 | www.jeppesen.com


This document contains only administrative, uncontrolled data under U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations.



From: <dita-lightweight-dita@lists.oasis-open.org> on behalf of Robert D Anderson <robander@us.ibm.com>
Date: Friday, March 31, 2017 at 8:53 AM
To: Carlos Evia <cevia@vt.edu>
Cc: "arh@groupwellesley.com" <arh@groupwellesley.com>, "dita-lightweight-dita@lists.oasis-open.org" <dita-lightweight-dita@lists.oasis-open.org>
Subject: Re: [dita-lightweight-dita] Does <data> need @href?


(Let's begin with my usual caveat about my years of focus on full DITA rather than lightweight, and then...)

The href attribute is pretty commonly used on <data> elements, with fairly straightforward use cases -- it either tells where the piece of metadata came from, or where to go to find more of it.

For example, I regularly seem to write sample topics about puffins. Anything based on a surprising fact from our favorite fact source might be tagged:
<data name="source" value="wikipedia" href="">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puffin"/>

For the few not writing about puffins, href really is the more semantic choice if you're trying to reference anything outside of the topic:
<data name="changelog" href="" href="http://example.com/changes-to-this-topic.log">http://example.com/changes-to-this-topic.log"/>
<data name="previous-version" href="">http://example.com/versionX.log"/>
<data name="from-collection" href="">

Obviously with that sample, those are pairs, so you could use name + value. But if you were doing it in full DITA, and used @value for a reference like that, I think a lot of people would be shaking their heads and wondering why.

Anyway, if you're already going to have <data> available already this seems to be a pretty common use case for both full and LwDITA.


Robert D. Anderson
DITA-OT lead and Co-editor DITA 1.3 specification,
Digital Services Group

E-mail: robander@us.ibm.com
Digital Services Group

11501 BURNET RD,, TX, 78758-3400, AUSTIN, USA

nactive hide details for Carlos Evia ---03/31/2017 08:30:56 AM---Dear allCarlos Evia ---03/31/2017 08:30:56 AM---Dear all, I agree with Alan. Let's make this an agenda item for Monday's meeting.

From: Carlos Evia <cevia@vt.edu>
To: arh@groupwellesley.com
Cc: "dita-lightweight-dita@lists.oasis-open.org" <dita-lightweight-dita@lists.oasis-open.org>
Date: 03/31/2017 08:30 AM
Subject: Re: [dita-lightweight-dita] Does <data> need @href?
Sent by: <dita-lightweight-dita@lists.oasis-open.org>

Dear all,

I agree with Alan. Let's make this an agenda item for Monday's meeting.
I think we aim to please in the LwDITA SC and I am super guilty of this: when one of our members or an actual user contacts me and asks for a feature using the "but DITA 1.3 has it" (the equivalent of "but mom lets me eat candy before dinner"), I tend to feel guilty and try to accommodate. 
As Alan says, that could really make LwDITA (we are mainly talking about XDITA here) bloated and very, seriously distant from the simplicity of its sisters HDITA and MDITA.
That's why I fear the monsters that people could create with the template-based specialization under the LwDITA umbrella: Look at my spaghetti topic with 25 custom elements... which I created from an XDITA base, so it is lightweight and certified!
So, bring your ideas to Monday's call!
New campaign slogan: Keep LwDITA lightweight... oh lord...


Carlos Evia, Ph.D.
Director of Professional and Technical Writing
Associate Professor of Technical Communication
Department of English
Center for Human-Computer Interaction
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0112

On Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 9:17 AM, Alan Houser <arh@groupwellesley.com> wrote:

Hi Rob/Ian,

Your use cases are valid. But I think both are narrow enough that one should use full DITA to meet these requirements, even in the presence of a LwDITA alternative.

I take this position because of my perception that the "Lightweight" portion of Lightweight DITA is at general risk from feature creep.


On 3/31/17 8:46 AM, Rob Hanna wrote:

In my opinion, the @href is quite useful as the semantic that states what the data’s @name and @value applies to. It can apply to an external or internal resource. For example

          • To relate a topic to an external resource for pulling in the latest pricing for a widget
          • To relate a piece of data to an element within the topic itself
              • @name = “correction”
              • @value = “Changed the trade name used for the Widget sold in Canada”
              • @href = "">


Arguably, the @href value can be inserted using a nested data element. Still I believe that the semantic relevance of @href in data is very useful.



Rob Hanna



From: dita-lightweight-dita@lists.oasis-open.org [mailto:dita-lightweight-dita@lists.oasis-open.org] On Behalf Of Alan Houser
March 31, 2017 5:21 AM
Re: [dita-lightweight-dita] Does <data> need @href?


Gently pushing back on this ... if "is it in DITA 1.3?" were the test for inclusion in Lw-DITA, well ...

What can an @href attribute accomplish that @name/@value cannot? I acknowledge that @href has processing implications in full DITA. If that's the driving requirement here, I can accept that. But (generally), if one can meet a requirement in Lw-DITA with more general/extensible markup (in this case, @name/@value), I would favor punting the more specific markup.



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