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Subject: RE: [dita] indexing question

> From: Erik Hennum [ehennum@us.ibm.com]
> To follow up on the index range question, we had a fair bit 
> of discussion about ranges last Fall.

Yes, we had a fair bit of discussion and still missed several
important issues related to indexes.  Scary, huh?

> The consensus at the 
> time was that ranges should be set explicitly. 

I agree that seems safest.

But then we do need to address what it means to have an 
indexterm in a prolog. 

> I guess my perspective remains that an indexterm in the 
> prolog could be treated as a special case of a general rule: 
> that an indexterm covers the content of its container and 
> that processing emits a page range if the indexed container 
> extends to more than 2 pages.  

We could define the semantics thusly.  But we haven't to date.
We'd need some careful wording in the spec to cover all this,
and then we have to hope we haven't confused users with too
many different ways to do things.

> Can we isolate any anomalies in the current indexing proposal 
> and fix those quickly without changing the fundamental approach?

My doubt that we'll find and clarify all the anomalies is what
led me to argue against putting ranges into 1.1.  My doubts
haven't really changed.

But if we are going to continue with index ranges in 1.1, then
I guess we have to try to find all the issues and address them
even if that holds up getting 1.1 out.  That is the tradeoff,
right?  You can have only two of the following:  more features,
sooner 1.1 release, better quality spec.  You can't have all three,
and I don't think we want to have a poor quality spec.

> Paul, are you aware of other hiccups besides the requirement to 
> index an entire topic from start of the title through the end 
> of the related links or the end of the nested topics?

Yes.  As I mentioned earlier, our users are used to going to
the beginning of a topic and inserting index terms that they
expect to point to the first page of the topic.  Not a range,
just the first page.  And they don't want to have to insert a 
prolog and stick an indexterm therein (which, as we've discussed,
wouldn't give the desired result anyway regardless of how we
define what that means), they just want to insert an indexterm
before or after the title of the topic/task/whatever.  I didn't 
make this up--our users came to me and said this is a need, how 
can they do this?   And there is no way to do this at this time. 


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