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Subject: TC/DITA/Translation Subcommittee Proposals


From: JoAnn Hackos, chair DITA/Translation Subcommittee 
The DITA/Translation Subcommittee approved the following proposals to
the DITA TC on March 13, 2006.
DIR Attribute
Proposal: That the DITA 1.1 specification include the DIR attribute as a
universal attribute with the values of LTR, RTL, LRO, and RLO. No
default value is to be specified for the DITA DTD.
Discussion: The DIR attribute is used by authors of languages such as
Hebrew and Arabic to ensure that correct directionality on the output,
especially when the standard directionality has to be modified to
accommodate some special use of the language. The reason to include it
is to ensure that tools for authoring and for transforms generate the
correct directionality. There was discussion that the results of this
would often be unpredictable and produce different effects for different
browers. The SC will now work on a statement of best practices for
authors and tools vendors to develop a way to handle the dir attribute
Ruby Attribute/element
Proposal: That the Subcommittee postpone any consideration of ruby
enable until there is an appropriate mechanism (e.g., a specialization
of the <keyref> attribute or a recommendation from the ITS working group
of the W3C) to enable it in the DITA DTD.

Discussion: The ruby attribute/element is used in some languages to
provide an annotation indicating how certain characters should be
pronounced. It is used in Japanese textbooks to guide a reader in the
pronunciation of lesser known characters. At present, we have not
received a specific request to enable ruby and the ITS working group has
not yet completed its draft recommendation. The SC believes it is better
to wait until we have a means to enable this attribute before making a
recommendation to the TC. We hope to reconsider this proposal for the
DITA 1.2 specification.

Xml:lang Attribute
Proposal: That the DITA 1.1 specification maintain the xml:lang
attributed as currently specified in DITA 1.0. That specification stated
that xml:lang values are validated by RFC3066 or its successors.

Discussion: A considerable discussion on this attribute has occurred
over several weeks, because of the potential problems with specifying
its value correctly. Because DITA DTD does not specify what values are
correct, it's possible that authors could enter incorrect values. The
correct values are in the RFC3066. The best practice discussion now
centers on recommending that xml authoring tools or CM systems provide
standard lists of values from which authors can choose. For example,
authors should correctly enter a combination of language and locale as
follows: fr-fr or fr-ca specifies French or French Canadian.



JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD 
Comtech Services, Inc. 
710 Kipling Street, Suite 400 
Denver, CO 80215 
http://www.comtech-serv.com <http://www.comtech-serv.com/>  
Skype joannhackos

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