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Subject: RE: [dita] Specentry attribute

How will you account for tables that have more than one heading row? I
am thinking of tables in which you may want to vary the headings mid-way
in the table to accommodate a change in the content. This without having
to introduce a more complex table style. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Prescod [mailto:paul.prescod@blastradius.com] 
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2005 11:08 AM
To: dita@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [dita] Specentry attribute

I don't think that the DITA spec is explicit about how to derive a
header from specentries. For example, the DITA toolkit's FO
implementation uses the specentry elements from the first row, but I
don't think that the DITA specification says that it should. It also
seems unclear on what should happen if there is already a header row. In
addition, there are issues around translation that are not addressed by
the spec. I propose the following text:

'The specialized entry attribute allows architects of specialized types
to define a fixed or default column title for a specialization of
simpletable. It is not intended to be directly used by authors.

If a simple table does not have an sthead, and there is an stentry
element in the first strow that has a specentry attribute, then DITA
processing software should generate the header. The software should
generate a column header for each stentry in the first strow, using the
specentry attribute value when available and the empty string otherwise.
The software shold generate the header text by using the specentry value
as a lookup key for finding language-appropriate text, falling back to
the actual content of the attribute if no language-appropriate text is

DITA processing software should ignore specentry attributes in the
following circumstances:

 * when there is an sthead in the simpletable
 * when they appear on strows other than the first in the simpletable

 Paul Prescod

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