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Subject: Re: [dita] DITA 1.2 - element aliasing and namespaces

Hi Erik--

That's right - I do vaguely remember Bruce Esrig proposing something like this. Is he still on the TC?

As for the issues you raise:
  • We could just make it a rule that arbitrary attributes can only be considered renamings of the unspecialized data element. After all, this mechanism is really just a way to preserve them during generalization/respecialization. Or they could be renamed from specialized data elements - provided the renaming resolution happens before generalization, and after respecialization.

  • We could just say that arbitrary attributes are allowed only on elements that can contain the data element - or that can be referred to by a data-about element. I think that would handle most if not every case where implementers might want them - certainly more than the 80/20 rule would mandate.

Hope this helps!


Erik Hennum wrote:

Hi, Dana:

Interesting. I hadn't made the connection between element aliasing and <data>-to-attribute mutability (for which Bruce Esrig was one proponent, if I recall). I can certainly see the conceptual benefits you point out of having a single fundamental story and the convenience for generalization.

One issue would be how runtime processors of documents get access to the type inheritance information about an attribute specialized from <data> (or, maybe better, from a <data> specialization that has no content). If DITA continues to use architectural attributes, there would have to be an architectural attribute (maybe on the <topic> element?) that declares the ancestry of the added attribute.

Another issue would be that <data> or the base element for specialized attributes would have to be available everywhere.

Something to mull...


Erik Hennum

Inactive hide details for Dana Spradley <dana.spradley@oracle.com>Dana Spradley <dana.spradley@oracle.com>





Re: [dita] DITA 1.2 - element aliasing and namespaces


And I think it might also be the most appropriate place to handle the long-deferred project to allow adding implementation-specific metadata attributes to arbitrary elements.

Such attributes could be considered renamings of contained data or associated data-about elements whose name attribute has the same name as the implementation-specific attribute's name.

This makes more sense to me than evolving a specialization/generalization mechanism for such attributes, given that data elements, like implementation-specific attributes, have no generic processing.

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