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Subject: Re: [dita] ITEM: Section div in LI

On 6/3/09 1:44 PM, "masalsky_paul@emc.com" <masalsky_paul@emc.com> wrote:

> I respect Eliot's opinions, but I must humbly disagree that textual
> items in the spec would be an effective way to enforce DITA authoring
> rules. 

You misunderstood what I said: I said that the prose of the spec is the
*only complete* way to *define* the rules of DITA.

Enforcing those rules is another matter entirely.

It is absolutely the case that DTDs (and XSD schemas, and RNG schemas, and
another conceivable *declarative* constraint language) are *inherently
incapable* of enforcing some important rules that a standard like DITA (or
in fact, any document type sufficiently sophisticated to meet the needs of
technical documentation or publishers) has. Thus, while it is of course
useful to have DTDs or XSD schemas that can enforce as many of the rules as
possible, it is not, and has never been, possible to have DTDs or XSDs that
can enforce *all of them*. Thus, saying that a particular design is
inappropriate *simply because it cannot be enforced by a DTD or schema* is
insufficient to rule out that design.

That's all I'm saying.

At the same time, because, at the most general levels of the design, DITA
must avoid unnecessary constraints in order to avoid precluding useful
specializations, there will be cases where the most-general models allow
combinations that, if used in practice would either be non-sensical or

There are any number of standard and non-standard constraint and validation
mechanisms at our disposal, not least of which is the OASIS Schematron
standard, as well as simple purpose-built validation applications. These can
always be applied to enforce rules that DTDs alone cannot enforce. And of
course there is always validation by failure....

Or said another way: allowing <bodydiv> in more places may be ill-advised
for any number of good reasons. That it allows things that should be illegal
but cannot be prevented by DTDs *cannot* be one of those reasons.



Eliot Kimber | Senior Solutions Architect | Really Strategies, Inc.
email:  ekimber@reallysi.com <mailto:ekimber@reallysi.com>
office: 610.631.6770 | cell: 512.554.9368
2570 Boulevard of the Generals | Suite 213 | Audubon, PA 19403
www.reallysi.com <http://www.reallysi.com>  | http://blog.reallysi.com
<http://blog.reallysi.com> | www.rsuitecms.com <http://www.rsuitecms.com> 

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