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Subject: RE: [dita] DITA "givens" to document

"Paul Grosso" <pgrosso@arbortext.com> wrote on 08/25/2004 03:48:49 PM:
> > For the basic topic,
> > this attribute defines "preserve" specifically for the elements
> > "pre" and "lines". The preservation of non-significant whitespace
> > (ie, tabs or linefeeds between elements in non-mixed-content models)
> > is not required by DITA processing. However, content creation tools
> > should respect the policies of content owners for the preservation
> > of embedded non-significant whitespace (such as intentional
> > pretty-printing offsets).
> I don't know what is meant by the last sentence above.  If it's saying
> that editors should maintain XML source file indentation, then I've got
> a serious problem with this.  If you want to maintain source file
> indentation, use Notepad.  XML-aware, structure-based content creation
> is not compatible with maintaining the insignificant issues of the
> markup.

I get your point, Paul.  I agree that my last sentence is beyond the purview of the TC, and reflects a bias based on the number of times I've had to defend normal XML handling behavior to content owners who felt that whitespace collapsing (or insertion) on Save had altered their content contrary to their expectation.  What is insignificant to XML tools is not necessarily insignificant to content owners who still use byte-counts or line counts for metrics.  I'll just ask them to tell their problems to Paul ;-)

> > Preservation of <!DOCTYPE...> artifacts; use of un-doctyped instances
> > in DTD-based systems, etc..
> This is a bit too terse for me--I'm not sure what is meant here.

I wasn't sure quite how to pose the question, so this was sort of a Hail Mary pass, I admit.

I've worked several test cases wherein doctype-less topics that are suitable for Schema authoring/processing are not able to be processed by DTD-based tools. The XML community is in a transitional era in which some of the processing expectations between the two systems are still being worked out. Should we not offer some guidance on how to develop compatible datasets, since reuse/interchange may well occur between content developed under different expectations? This sort of information might not be for the Spec, necessarily, but I feel the TC has the collective wisdom to suggest implementation guidelines that address such practical issues.

Don Day <dond@us.ibm.com>
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
IBM Lead DITA Architect
11501 Burnet Rd., MS 9037D018, Austin TX 78758
Ph. 512-838-8550 (T/L 678-8550)

"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
--T.S. Eliot

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