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Subject: RE: [dita] index terms

Given the possible misinterpretation of "every single 
book index I've seen uses page ranges", I'd like to
clarify here (though I suspect Chris was just speaking 
casually and knows all this already).

You can't see what I think we mean by "page ranges"
in printed indexes.  

If one has "point-wise" indexterms for "Hammer" whose
associated positions end up, after formatting, on 
pages 3, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 8, and 10, then sufficiently 
robust indexing software will generate an index entry for:

  Hammer  3, 5-8, 10.

This is not a use of page ranges.  We do not need the extra
markup for page ranges just to get this output effect.

Page ranges is markup concept.  It's used when one wants 
to be able to "bracket" some input content and say that 
*every character within that range* should be considered 
as being indexed under the given indexterm.  It's morally
equivalent to putting a point-wise indexterm on every 
word within the range and then having indexing software
do the usually merging as demonstrated above.

I'm fully aware of the utility of indexing page ranges--and
possible Chris is saying that every single book index whose
source markup he's seen uses page ranges as I've described
them--but I do suggest it may be outside the cost/benefit 
tradeoffs for DITA 1.1. 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris Wong [mailto:cwong@idiominc.com] 
> Sent: Monday, 2005 October 03 17:07
> To: dita@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: RE: [dita] index terms
> I agree with the general idea that you present that we should 
> not overengineer for the less useful cases, and indeed with 
> most of what you just wrote. I only disagree specifically 
> with the contention that page ranges belongs in the category 
> of an unnecessary frill. Not everyone uses primary entries, 
> but just about every single book index I've seen uses page 
> ranges. It is one of those features that are actively in use 
> in real life by real life authors in real production environments.
> Chris

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