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Subject: Re: [dita] Data types and default values

Hi Robert,
We could provide a very brief introductory section that explains the layout
of the tables in the lang spec. I do that in my DITA workshop, explaining
how to read the lang spec. That would be helpful for new users. However, I'd
keep the explanation brief and suggest references for common terms like


On 2/2/09 11:29 AM, "Anderson Robert" <robander@us.ibm.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> A couple of reviewers have commented on the data types and default values
> in the language specification.
> Comments from a couple of reviewers include:
> * What do CDATA and NMTOKEN mean?
> * What does #IMPLIED mean?
> * Why does it say the default is #IMPLIED when my processor always does XYZ
> with it?
> * Why does it use DTD syntax (#IMPLIED) instead of Schema syntax, or
> something more general?
> My question is now - what should these values say? Considerations are:
> * CDATA, NMTOKEN, etc do have external definitions.
> * How can I explain these in words without overloading the attribute tables
> with definitions? That is, we do not want each attribute to define NMTOKEN
> or CDATA
> * I know many look to the default column to see what DITA defines as a
> default - but processor defaults are distinct from DTD/Schema enforced
> defaults
> My preference is:
> * For data type, stick to CDATA/NMTOKEN, because these are common XML
> terms ... unless somebody can suggest something better. Maybe "Character
> data" or "String" for CDATA, but NMTOKEN?
> * If needed, we can define those terms at the start of the spec (or
> reference definitions elsewhere)
> * If there is no DTD/Schema default, list "No default" or leave the column
> empty instead of listing #IMPLIED or #REQUIRED
> * I think that the "default" column should stick to listing only DTD/Schema
> defaults (not processor defaults), otherwise we run in to trouble with
> vendors / processors
> Other thoughts?
> Robert D Anderson
> IBM Authoring Tools Development
> Chief Architect, DITA Open Toolkit
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