OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

dita message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

Subject: Re: AW: AW: [dita] Groups - DITA Proposed Feature #12021:Nesting sections (12021.html) uploaded

On 10/30/07 10:16 AM, "Michael Priestley" <mpriestl@ca.ibm.com> wrote:

> OK - so for legacy content that has not been chunked into topics, they
> still want to enforce the one topic per file constraint they have decided
> on, but without rewriting the content to match?
> The obvious option within the architecture is to combine the "senseless
> small crumbs" into one file for authoring, until it is ready to split out
> properly.

A policy of exactly one file per topic is not an appropriate or sustainable
policy for the simple reason that DITA requires that you use nested topics
for certain content patterns. Because of this, you cannot state the policy
this strictly.

What you can do is say that each *standalone* topic is its own file.

That is, while abstractly we think of a topic as a standalone unit of
information, the syntactic constraints that DITA imposes require that you
sometimes use nested topics for content that is clearly not standalone.

Thus the reality is that there are "standalone" topics and "dependent"
topics. Dependent topics should almost never be separate documents while
standalone topics should almost always be separate documents as a matter of
good data management practice. [But note that there valid exceptions to both

I agree very strongly with Michael that topics should not nest.

I originally had the same reaction as others in thinking that sections
should be allowed to nest (you can check the mail archives). But upon
further reflection I came to realize that everything you want to do with
nested sections can be done with nested topics and you avoid the very real
danger of putting a whole document in a single topic body.

In short, DITA currently says that a topic is really the smallest atomic
unit of content organization. Once you accept that, then lots of things
become easier.

Until you accept this you will likely be very frustrated.

Having said all that, I do like the current "nested section" proposal (which
should really be renamed to something like "generic containers" or
something). There is definitely a need to be able to organize things within
a topic body or section as outlined in the proposal. But I also agree that
these containers should be clearly understood to not be arbitrarily titled
divisions but organizational aids.



W. Eliot Kimber
Senior Solutions Architect
Really Strategies, Inc.
"Bringing Strategy, Content, and Technology Together"
Main: 610.631.6770

Sent using the Microsoft Entourage 2004 for Mac Test Drive.

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]