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Subject: RE: [dita] Recommendations for "page break" requests?

Don says, on the one hand, this can't easily be put into
a stylesheet, but on the other hand that direct mods in
the source are harmful.
Either PIs (with which I have no problem--we're talking
about processing, after all) or source elements are direct
mods in the source.  No use arguing between those choices
if we don't want direct mods in the source.
If you don't want direct mods in the source, then you're
talking about a stylesheet in one way or the other.  Maybe
it's a special "linebreak/pagebreak exception file" rather
than an official XSL-FO stylesheet, but it's still a stylesheet
in the general sense.  I could theoretically imagine making
something like this work via an XPath that points to where
the break should be, but I suspect this would get too
complicated in practice.
So if we don't want direct mods in the source and we don't
want a stylesheet, what's the alternative that I'm missing?
My preference right now is to use PIs because I think
something in the source is the only practical way to go, we
are taking about instructing the processing of the document, 
and because making them a PI instead of an element makes it
easier to toss them from any "database" since you probably
don't want to store such info in a topic permanently.

From: Don Day [mailto:dond@us.ibm.com]
Sent: Thursday, 2004 September 16 17:17
To: DITA TC list
Subject: [dita] Recommendations for "page break" requests?

Yes, I know the mantra, "XML promises separation of presentation from content." Yet our users still ask for page breaks, line breaks, and other presentational nudges that just can't be separated easily into a stylesheet.

Processing Instructions and other direct mods in a source topic are considered harmful; if the topic is reused elsewhere, the instruction could cause mischief.

So while this is a general question, it still has bearing on work we might do down the road on a recommended style mechanism for DITA:

>>>> For page and line breaks in particular, what do you do, and what do you recommend? 


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