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Subject: CONREF best practices
Hi Everyone, As regards XML best practices in general please refer to my paper from XML 2004 USA which details many of the do's and dont's regarding XML localization: http://www.idealliance.org/proceedings/xml04/papers/49/paper.html As regards best practices concerning the use of the DITA conref element I would like to propose the following: Great care should be taken regarding the use of the 'conref' element. Although the conref element may appear as a very efficient artifice to allow for the simple substitution of product names etc. allowing for the runtime resolution of given parameters this can cause grammatical problems with highly inflected and gender sensitive languages such as most Slavonic and Germanic languages. What works extremely well for English or French source text can result in ungrammatical text for given target languages. Such an outcome is generally undesirable as it will reflect badly on the documentation concerned. As a general rule the safest way to use conref is for the inclusion of grammatically complete sentences or phrases (those that can stand alone and do not rely on the surrounding context). Never use conref to substitute common nouns or noun phrases such as for example 'hammer' or 'screw driver' etc. Where the conref is used for proper nouns, such as 'Ford Focus' the the safest solution is to insure that the proper noun is always the main subject of the sentence, e.g.: Do not use: Driving the Ford Focus is an exhilarating experience. Rather use: The Ford Focus provides an exhilarating diving experience. The subject of a sentence is in the nominative case and therefore does not normally require inflection. The translators should also receive appropriate instructions to insure that the substituted proper noun is translated as the subject of the sentence. Best Regards, AZ -- email - firstname.lastname@example.org smail - c/o Mr. A.Zydron PO Box 2167 Gerrards Cross Bucks SL9 8XF United Kingdom Mobile +(44) 7966 477 181 FAX +(44) 1753 480 465 www - http://www.xml-intl.com This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you may not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses. The sender therefore does not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of this message which arise as a result of e-mail transmission. If verification is required please request a hard-copy version. Unless explicitly stated otherwise this message is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or offer.