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Subject: Re: [dita] DITA Issue Proposal: Styling Options for Conditional Text

Hi Paul - I realize this is a bit late to the discussion, but I thought I'd
clarify the current DITA Open Toolkit behavior with regards to the DITAVAL
file. Currently, the there are 16 suggested colors, but the file allows
anything. The toolkit will pass any color value directly into the output,
which means you can use any RGB value (or other recognized color); the 16
given are just the most common ones.

To further clarify the behavior - color values in the DITAVAL file
currently only apply to revisions. It is not possible to associate a color
with the attributes that are used for filtering and flagging. Along with
the colors, there is a revision art option, which inserts start and end
images around the revised section. These use the localized alternate text
"Start of change" and "End of change", or a translation of those phrases,
so that screen readers have an indication that the text is revised. The
images themselves did not actually ship with the toolkit - this is a bug
which will be fixed soon.

For the other selection attributes in the DITAVAL file, there is currently
no way to get any highlighting. The only way to mark them up is to use
flags, which are only evaluated for block elements (this was done because
on phrase elements there is no clear way to identify the end of a flagged
section). For your requirements, I have one suggestion that might avoid the
need to extend the DITAVAL file. Would it work if we added a way to pass
the selection values through into the class attribute? So, the audience
attribute value would optionally end up in the XHTML output. You could then
use CSS to get any highlighting, without needing to set highlight values in
the DITAVAL file.

Robert D Anderson
IBM Authoring Tools Development
Chief Architect, DITA Open Toolkit

             "Paul Prescod"                                                
             stradius.com>                                              To 
             08/29/2005 03:03                                           cc 
                                       [dita] DITA Issue Proposal: Styling 
                                       Options for Conditional Text        

We propose that the DITAVAL file be standardized for interchange among

The DITAVAL file currently provides 16 colors for styling conditional
elements. We propose that the styling options be extended for scalability,
to support multiple output devices, and to incorporate current knowledge of
human factors.

Feedback from our customers indicates that it is important to be able to
signal conditions without relying on color. Non-color formatting is
important in monochrome printouts and for color-blind users.

We propose allowing users to assign the following formats to conditions:
underline, double underline, italics, overline, and bold.

We propose allowing users to set background colors for conditional text.
For the vast majority of users who work in black text on a white
background, light highlight colors provide good contrast for legibility.

 Paul Prescod and Su-Laine Yeo
 Blast Radius XMetaL

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