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Subject: Re: [dita] Jeff's (Arbortext) comments on the DITA 1.1 ArchitecturalSpec...

No one has followed up on our chunking discussion in today's meeting yet, so while it's still on my mind I thought I'd offer my two cents.

I agree with Paul that the description of the chunk attribute should be more toolkit neutral, and not refer to files as the privileged repositories of chunked topics - since some of us store our documents in CMS and other database systems.

On the other hand, as Michael pointed out we do need - not so much a "chunk," as a "do-not-chunk" attribute.

Otherwise no automated process is going to know not to chunk topics embedded in other topics to form section-like structures that are not intended to stand on their own - which is the compromise we've built into the standard for these kind of structures.


Grosso, Paul wrote:
...are attached (annotated PDF--I hope this will make it through the
OASIS mailer).

Some of them are very editorial, but others are more major.

We are still working on the language spec.

Much as we'd all like to get 1.1 out, there have been some major things
(like the chunking writeup) that we've only recently had a chance to

Arbortext has a concern with the fact that DITA 1.1 chunking support
calls for the default behavior to preserve the authored chunking as
represented by files.  It might be OK to have this behavior be one of
the options that is supported, but we do not believe it is a good
default (even if it is how the DITA Open Toolkit works today).  Chunking
should not be controlled by the topic author.  Chunking should be a rule
based process that is driven forward by hints provided in the map.  And
bursting documents into a CMS confuses this whole business even more.

The current DITA 1.1 approach to chunking doesn't seem to have the right
split of control between the map, topics, and output processing.
Chunking would be better controlled by something that is aware of the
output type; building information that is likely to be output type
dependent into the DITA map, or worse the DITA topics, is a mistake.
Chunking would be better controlled from the ditaval file or a style
sheet, possibly using hints in the document.

FWIW, we also remain uneasy about including ditaval in the DITA 1.1
spec.  Reread the ditaval section in the Architecture Spec makes it
clear that ditaval is too much about formatting rather than content and
so does not belong in the DITA Standard in its current form.  For
example it has the ability to control color, underline, italics, bold,
and specific instructions on how to flag an image.  All of that should
be controlled by a stylesheet and not embedded in the ditaval file.  The
ditaval file might reference a style name or property to use in some
fashion, but the details should be left to other processes that know the
output type and other information related to the final format.


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