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Subject: RE: [dita] Proposed index range revisions (was Re: [dita] Are indextermranges backwards incompatible?)

Hi, Index Enthusiasts:

For what it's worth, Sperberg-McQueen asserts that an XML specification should "get the key things down in writing without over-restricting things, without over-emphasizing the orderliness that we perceive, without filtering out signal unintentionally." [1]

Trying to keep that judicious big picture for the indexing question, I would think that we should:

Part of the challenge is that indexing is partly contextual (as Paul Prescod has pointed out [mails coming in faster than I can type]):

In DITA, the representation of context is the map, which suggests meeting these requirements through the map. However, the positioning of index points and ranges with respect to the flow is clearly best done within in the topic. Moreover, when I reuse a topic, I don't want to have to reconstruct its indexing in each context.

Also, DITA would benefit from a continuum of use -- being able (but not required) to scale up to a rigorous separation of term from its sense (taxonomy, here we come).

In short, we defined DITA 1.1 as the simple cut back in February and have many tough questions remaining that might best be attacked as a whole.

For explicit ranges, my main concern is that we avoid multiplying DITA referencing mechanisms. If we're confident that we aren't introducing a constraining legacy, I'm happy with keyref.

Hoping that's useful,

Erik Hennum

[1] http://www.idealliance.org/papers/extreme/proceedings/html/2005/SperbergMcQueen02/EML2005SperbergMcQueen02.html

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