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Subject: RE: [dita] Proposal 12017 - consistency between map & topic metadata and abstract vs shortdesc
Hi Dana and Erik,
How would this translate in maps? Obviously, following the discussion on transitional text, the short descriptions in maps are not going to be the first paragraph of anything. Are they, therefore, to be used as link previews only (what I called rollovers in my previous emails)? Then again, if maps are only containers, there should not be any links to them, except from the table or content. Then why would I even need short descriptions?
I thought abstract would provide a better opportunity for metadata. I can include information that will help me find and retrieve maps in my database and I can be consistent in the way I use elements: full sentences in abstracts, partial sentences in shortdescriptions.
Maybe we only need to define the purpose of shortdesc in maps + how it is intended to be used, and then document it. I find it a bit confusing right now.
From: Dana Spradley [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 12:31 PM
To: France Baril
Subject: Re: [dita] Proposal 12017 - consistency between map & topic metadata and abstract vs shortdesc
Actually, when used alone, and not inside an abstract, shortdesc is meant to figure as the first paragraph of the topic body:
The short description (<shortdesc>) element occurs between the topic title and the topic body, as the initial paragraph-like content of a topic... Use the <shortdesc> element when the first paragraph of topic content is simple enough to be suitable for use as a link preview or for summaries.... In cases where a topic contains only one paragraph, then it is preferable to include this text in the <shortdesc> and leave the topic body empty.
While an abstract would appear first in a topic, I assume it would be set off as an executive summary or some such, and not appear as part of the body of a topic, as shortdesc alone would.
Erik and I have had some ex parte communication on this, which I reproduce for the group below:
Hi Erik et al--
Thanks for the links - I downloaded the latest pdf and reviewed as well. I guess I hadn't been keeping up on the abstract documentation, and had only seen it for shortdesc.
Nevertheless, I think France still has a point.
While abstract is the first content of the topic, I assume it's intended to be set off as an abstract, and not figure as part of the body of the topic. shortdesc, on the other hand, when used alone, is meant to figure as the first paragraph of the body.
It would seem, then, that abstract is more a kind of "topic metadata" than shortdesc. And while it's unlikely one would want to override the first paragraph of the body of a topic based on its inclusion in a certain collection of topics - it's much more likely one might want to override a topic's introductory abstract or executive summary based on the collection's parameters.
BTW - there seems to be a bit of a contradiction built into shortdesc now - it's the first paragraph of the body when used alone - but when embedded in an abstract, does it's content also figure as the first paragraph(s) in the body?
Erik Hennum wrote:
Hi, Dana and France:
At least, I believe these are the latest versions of the specification.
Hoping that's useful,
France Baril wrote:
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