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Subject: Re: [dita] Are indexterm ranges backwards incompatible?

Coming back to this issue today, I agree that a compromise is appropriate, given its relative triviality.

The only addition I'd make to Paul's previously suggested implementation statement would be to put indesterm start/end rendering in the hands of end users as well (my addition bolded):
"Index terms in prologs are neither ranges nor points. They are associated with the whole topic. DITA publishing implementations are encouraged to let the end-user choose whether to represent them as page ranges spanning an entire topic or individual pages in an index. Publishing implementations are also encouraged to let end users decide whether to render indexterm start/end pairs as page ranges, or as point references to the start indexterm. Another choice that publishing implementations may wish to provide is whether to collapse multiple continguous page references into a single page range."

Paul Prescod wrote:
-----Original Message-----
From: Grosso, Paul [mailto:pgrosso@ptc.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 7:01 AM
To: dita@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [dita] Are indexterm ranges backwards incompatible?


Importance and ranges are orthogonal concepts.

I think that underlying this debate is a difference in styles by index
users. When I'm presented with many mentions of a particular topic,
there are three things that I look at:

 1. is any bolded as being the "defining" instance of an index entry?
(hard to do in topic-oriented content!)

 2. which comes first (also not necessarily informative in
topic-oriented content)

 3. which is longest: likely to be a tutorial and not just a random

So I understand Dana's point, but I don't (personally) think it is
crucial enough for substantial spec rewriting at this point. It is
totally true that if you have a Concept called "Cheese" then you would
want that topic to look special in the index entry for cheese. It is
also true that barring any special markup, making that mention into the
longest range is ONE way to make it stand out. Maybe we should agree for
DITA 1.2 to document other (more explicit) ways to make it stand out.

To put it another way: if a publishing tool provides the options I've
proposed then I would tend to advocate that they be set Dana's way
rather than the way others propose.

That said, I think it is acceptable to leave control of the issue in the
hands of the end-user rather than requiring it to be hard coded in the
spec. I thought that we were heading towards a compromise on those

 Paul Prescod

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