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Subject: Mapping of definition list entries from xdita to/from hdita

The basic problem we need to address is that we've claimed equivalence between XDITA and HDITA, but the wrapper element <dlentry> in XDITA currently offers something that cannot be mapped to HDITA. This is because the element itself does not exist in HDITA, so we need to be explicit about how get the same functionality from HDITA.

First a note on my possibly tortured language. In 12 years of working with / editing the DITA spec, I've learned to be very careful about words that imply a specific type of conversion. In this case, I'm going to be careful about the assumption that we are converting or mapping from HDITA to XDITA (or the reverse). Conversion language often implies a specific type of tool, which is where we get interpretations like "You have to convert from HDITA to real XML and then do xyz..."

Basically if we're claiming equivalence, then our job here is to lay out that equivalence, without assuming that you ever need to map from one format to the other. As an author, I just need to know how to mark up my chosen format; as an implementor, I can get from one format to the other (or not) any way I prefer, as long as items that mean the same thing are treated the same way. For what it's worth, I think the table in our appendix does a good job of this today.

So, with that pedantic note out of the way, my suggestion is:

And with all that said, I now remember why I put off writing this ;-)


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

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