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Subject: Re: [dita] Re: Discuss list processing expectations

Actually, this is largely unique to DITA. When I worked with DocBook and proprietary DTDs, we never allowed this sort of markup. The authors had an easier time (the DTDs were stricter, so it was obvious how they should mark up their content) and translation worked as expected. If DITA had a different element for the "embedded list" or whatever you want to call it, then translation tools could be configured to treat the list embedded in the paragraph as an in-line element (assuming marking up an embedded list inside a paragraph is good practice, which I don't believe it is). But when the same elements are used in so many contexts, as is the case with DITA, the translation tools can't accommodate every case correctly, and the result is increased localization costs and inferior translations. So many companies are not realizing the ROI on their DITA migrations, largely because of issues that arise during translation. Considering that many of these companies move to DITA to save translation costs, the team leaders end up looking stupid when the promised ROI is not there and they have to explain why.


So long as you are working in a single language, you can mark up however you wish. When you start translating, bad markup comes back to bite you... (So does incorrect use of variables and conditional text...) 


----- Original Message ----
From: Michael Priestley <mpriestl@ca.ibm.com>
To: JoAnn Hackos <joann.hackos@comtech-serv.com>
Cc: DITA TC List <dita@lists.oasis-open.org>; Gershon L Joseph [Yahoo] <gljoseph@yahoo.com>; Robert D Anderson <robander@us.ibm.com>; Rob Frankland <robf@sockmonkeyconsult.com>
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 9:37:22 PM
Subject: RE: [dita] Re: Discuss list processing expectations

Semantically the following two constructions are equivalent:

<p>There are three things: one, two, three.</p>

<p>There are three things:

If the segmentation rules don't work with the second case, shouldn't that mean the segmentation rules need updating? This won't be unique to DITA.

Michael Priestley
Lead IBM DITA Architect

"JoAnn Hackos" <joann.hackos@comtech-serv.com>

04/14/2008 02:04 PM

"Rob Frankland" <robf@sockmonkeyconsult.com>, Michael Priestley/Toronto/IBM@IBMCA, "Gershon L Joseph [Yahoo]" <gljoseph@yahoo.com>
"DITA TC List" <dita@lists.oasis-open.org>, "Robert D Anderson" <robander@us.ibm.com>
RE: [dita] Re: Discuss list processing expectations

We have discussed some of the list processing issues in the context of translation. The segmentation rules that are supported by XLIFF create segments where tags begin and end, unless a tag is explicitly defined as an inline element. The inline element requires no separate segmentation so that <uicontrol> in line in a sentence does not create three segments, one before, one after, and the word itself. Generally the translator can mouse over an inline word to see what the markup is.
However, including the list within the paragraph tag does create segmentation problems because the <p> segment does not close until after the <li> segments. For that reason, translation best practice leads to the following (as we have discussed):
<p>blah blah:</p> [this represents the stem sentence for the list]
<ul><li>bullet 1</li>
If the writer places the <ul> or <ol> inside the <p> tags, the segmentation rules do not break the sentence parts correctly. Remember that many stem sentences are complete sentence rather than phrases (generally the subject of the sentence this is completed by the list items). The <li>s can also be complete sentences.
JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD
Comtech Services, Inc.
710 Kipling Street, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80215

joannhackos Skype


From: Rob Frankland [mailto:robf@sockmonkeyconsult.com]
Tuesday, April 08, 2008 11:27 AM
'Michael Priestley'; 'Gershon L Joseph [Yahoo]'
'DITA TC List'; 'Robert D Anderson'
RE: [dita] Re: Discuss list processing expectations

MichaelĒs second point is exactly the one I was trying to make on the call today. I have had clients with house styles that require such mixed content. I want DITA to be able to be used by the widest possible community. To that end, MichaelsĒ advantage and disadvantage approach lets the user decide the course of action most desireable for there situation.
Rob Frankland
Sock Monkey Consulting, LLC
12408 Kallgren RD NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
From: Michael Priestley [mailto:mpriestl@ca.ibm.com]
Tuesday, April 08, 2008 9:52 AM
Gershon L Joseph [Yahoo]
DITA TC List; Robert D Anderson
Re: [dita] Re: Discuss list processing expectations


In what sense is that list "inline"? It defines the start of a new block. It does so within the context of an existing block. You can also nest lists inside other lists, or inside table cells.

And to reiterate, I am against any best practice that says users "should" avoid mixed content models. I am ok, per Jeff's suggestion, with a best practice that lays out the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.

Michael Priestley
Lead IBM DITA Architect

"Gershon L Joseph \[Yahoo\]" <gljoseph@yahoo.com>

04/08/2008 11:51 AM

Robert D Anderson <robander@us.ibm.com>, DITA TC List <dita@lists.oasis-open.org>
Re: [dita] Re: Discuss list processing expectations



This time hopefully without the Yahoo junk...

I'm still against using the same element in both block and inline contexts. If DITA provided an <inline-ul> (or whatever) for use in the example Paul gave I'd be OK with it. I still feel that block elements should be used only in block contexts, and inline elements in inline contexts. Paul's example would then be marked up as follows:

<p>In order to install Acme Pro Plus Plus, your system must
meet the following requirements:
<li>Pentium 4 CPU or later</li>
<li>1 GB RAM or more</li>
<li>At least 350 MB free disk space</li>
unless you are running the Limited version of the product.

Obviously we're not going to change the DTDs for 1.2, but perhaps we could consider an inline unordered list element for a future release, when we can improve on the current situation where <ul> functions as both block and inline.

For 1.2, maybe we should provide Paul's example as an exception to the general rule, and maybe even state that a future DITA release may provide a different inline element for this purpose?

Note also I said the spec should encourage the best practice via "should", so users using mixed markup are not going against the spec.


----- Original Message ----
> From: Robert D Anderson <robander@us.ibm.com>
> To: DITA TC List <dita@lists.oasis-open.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 5:18:01 PM
> Subject: RE: [dita] Re: Discuss list processing expectations
> I'd second what Paul says - I know a lot of users who would get upset if
> the spec told them they could not include the samples Paul gives inside a
> single paragraph.

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