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Subject: Re: [dita] transitional text and conref with delta

Transitional text, by definition, could not function as a standalone 
topic. If you incorporate the transitional text into a topic itself, 
then you are locking that topic in to a particular context. It is no 
longer an independent topic. The reason transitional text is needed at 
all, is to provide some semblance of flow between two standalone topics. 
Otherwise, the readability is a bit choppy to abruptly move to a new 
standalone topic in a book.

I realize that you want to move authors into a new paradigm of topic 
based authoring, but I think it a bit idealistic and impractical when it 
comes to initial migrations of content. IMO, a company is not going to 
want to eat all the expense of re-writing all of their existing content 
into standalone topics before they can start using the standard! I think 
you have to allow that group of documentation to produce exactly the 
deliverables they have now, and then gradually re-write according to 
topic-based best practice with following releases.

I think you need this transitional text in the book map, where the 
transitions depend on how the topics are arranged and ordered. I don't 
think you want to add transitional text to the actual topic, because it 
would only be valid for a specific assembly of the topics. That 
transition may not be valid in a different book map!

I'll try to dig up some examples of the transitional text to illustrate.

Best regards,


JoAnn Hackos wrote:
> Hi All,
> Why is it not possible to include “transitional text” of the sort in 
> these examples in a topic? In a task, the transition can be part of a 
> post-requisite. In a concept, you can build a transition into the 
> final paragraph. I would really like to see an example of someone’s 
> intended transitional text and understand why it couldn’t be 
> incorporated into the topic itself if indeed the topics need to be 
> read in a sequence.
> I think Erik’s proposal is quite useful, but not for this purpose.
> JoAnn
> JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD
> President
> Comtech Services, Inc.
> 710 Kipling Street, Suite 400
> Denver, CO 80215
> 303-232-7586
> joann.hackos@comtech-serv.com <mailto:joann.hackos@comtech-serv.com>
> joannhackos Skype
> www.comtech-serv.com
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Erik Hennum [mailto:ehennum@us.ibm.com]
> *Sent:* Tuesday, May 23, 2006 4:47 PM
> *To:* dita@lists.oasis-open.org
> *Subject:* [dita] transitional text and conref with delta
> Hi, Esteemed Technical Committee:
> As a followup to today's discussion, I'd like to add one more 
> alternative to Robert's list of options for transitional text:
> http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/dita/200605/msg00031.html
> If DITA 1.2 introduces the feature of conref push or pull with delta:
> http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/dita/download.php/15120/IssueNumber17e.html
> http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/dita/download.php/15117/IssueNumber17b.html
> a writer could insert or append transitional text to any topic.
> This approach has several benefits:
>     * Flexibility in supplying transitional text either before or
>       after the standalone topic or even modifying the standalone
>       topic for the book context if need be.
>     * Transparency in that the transitional content is associated by
>       explicit reference with the transitioned topic instead of being
>       merged into the output based on rules that aren't manifest in
>       the XML.
>     * Economy through use of a general-purpose function instead of a
>       separate special feature.
> It also addresses the concerns about the potential for inline 
> transitions to mingle content into the context.
> For those reasons, I'd suggest that we defer the transitional text 
> issue, get DITA 1.1 out the door, and bear down on DITA 1.2 including 
> conref with delta. If we discover that conref with delta doesn't solve 
> the transitional text problem, we can always introduce a different 
> solution. If conref with delta does work, we will have avoided 
> creating legacy that has to be deprecated later.
> Thanks,
> Erik Hennum
> ehennum@us.ibm.com

fn:Scott Hudson
org:Flatirons Solutions;Content Management Services
adr:Suite 200;;4747 Table Mesa Drive;Boulder;CO;80305;USA
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