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Subject: RE: [dita] outputclass on map elements

It makes me nervous to embed HTML-only stuff in the DITA model.
How do you propose to treat this attribute for print/pdf output? How do you propose to write up this attribute in the spec in an output-independent fashion that still remains useful?

From: Erik Hennum [mailto:ehennum@us.ibm.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 2006 June 06 17:01
To: dita@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [dita] outputclass on map elements

Hi, Esteemed Technical Committee:

The 1.1 bug list (http://wiki.oasis-open.org/dita/Bug_fixes_for_DITA_1%2e1#preview) has an item that never received final disposition -- adding the outputclass attribute to the map elements (<map>, <topicref>, <navref>, <anchor>, and <reltable>):


To recap, the outputclass attribute assigns an informal role to an element. As such, outputclass is quite useful for extending the semantic without formal specialization. For instance, you can use outputclass to mock up a specialization in the base document type or to create handles for custom processing. Typical output processing for HTML copies the outputclass into the class attribute so users can create custom CSS styling.

Currently, outputclass is only available on topic elements and not on map elements. As a result, you can't easily mock up a map specialization or provide handles for custom map processing.

The main implication of map outputclass for the base output processing would seem to be to collect the outputclass values for the topicref and provide them on the outermost wrapper of the HTML content for the topic. The latter enhancement would let users style a topic in CSS based on the role played by a topic within a map.

The outputclass attribute is close to being a universal attribute -- it applies to a similarly large list of elements and merits similar treatment. I'd like to request that we finalize this bug fix at the next meeting.


Erik Hennum

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