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Subject: ISBN Element Trapped in Bookmap Specialization

The bookmap specialization is in general not usable for publications that do
not or cannot conform to the constraints imposed by the bookmap
specialization. This includes, many, if not most, publications produced by
publishers. These constraints include requirements/limitations in bookmap
metadata as well as constraints and requirements imposed by the bookmap
content structure model.

However, there is one element defined only in the bookmap specialization
that is potentially applicable to *any* publication, the <isbn> element.
ISBN is the only bookmap metadata element that is truly universal and not
really a reflection of (potentially) enterprise-specific practice.

Any publication, even product-specific technical manuals, may have ISBN
numbers associated with them.

Thus it seems to me that <isbn> should not be bookmap specific but should be
part of the base set of DITA-defined metadata elements.

As it is, in order to create a publication map that includes ISBN numbers in
its metadata, I either have to copy the declaration from bookmap into my
specialization (and maintain the bookmap class value), define a new element
type that has the same meaning but a different name, or simply use "isbn" as
the local element type name and put it in my own module space (since there's
no possibility of future derivation from bookmap). I'm not sure which of
these options is the best, but definitely declaring an element with a name
other than "isbn" seems like the worst choice.

I think this could be fairly classified as a bug in the 1.1 design: isbn
should never have been specific to bookmap.

Is there any possibility that this could be addressed as a bug and isbn
moved to a more appropriate module?

I think the appropriate fix would be to declare "isbn" in topic.mod with the
class "- topic/data topic/isbn " and then declared in bookmap.mod with the
class "- topic/data topic/isbn bookmap/isbn "

This would allow existing bookmap processors that expect "bookmap/isbn" to
still work but would make topic/isbn available to all topics and maps.

The type "bookmap/isbn" could be flagged as deprecated so that we can remove
it in a future release.



Eliot Kimber
Senior Solutions Architect
"Bringing Strategy, Content, and Technology Together"
Main: 610.631.6770

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