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Subject: object name attribute

I was asked during the TC telecon to describe why the name 
attribute should continue to be supported on the DITA object 
element.  The object element in DITA is essentially a copy of the 
object element in XHTML 1.0 Strict.  I understand the idea is to 
allow the creation of such objects in DITA for passthrough.  The 
name attribute on an HTML object is how it is addressed in the 
DOM programming model, for example to identify a component of a 
form.  Of course, DITA does not directly support HTML forms, but 
a stylesheet can generate a form from a DITA document and include 
the DITA object in the form for some purpose. So it is likely 
that if someone is using object, they may be programming to 
access its name attribute in the HTML.

The id attribute is another way of addressing a particular 
object, at least in the W3C DOM, but it cannot always replace the 
name attribute.  An id attribute must be unique within an HTML 
document.  The same HTML document could have several form 
elements, each with their own submit buttons, and each with 
identical object elements.  All those object elements may need to 
have the same name attribute because they serve the same purpose 
in the program.

If the intent is to support XHTML objects in DITA, then I believe 
all the attributes from the XHTML side must be supported in the 
DITA object.

Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises
DocBook Consulting

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