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Subject: RE: [dita] referencing a bookmap from a map

Hi Jeff,

For others following the discussion:

>I want the DITA TC to make our expectations explicit when a generic map references a
>specialized map (or a generic topicref references a specialized topicref).  I hope we don’t
>end up just saying that this behavior is undefined or implementation dependent, but even
>that would be better than just being silent or ambiguous about what the expectation is.
>I am happy with the behaviors prescribed in 12055.
>I don’t think that the behaviors prescribed in 12055 always give results that conform to
>the expectations of the referencing map’s DTD or schema. And that is fine with me.  
>But in my view this weakens the arguments that say that we should always generalize
>the top level elements in the generic to specialized case to ensure that they conform.

I don't think it does weaken the argument. We can always define specialized behaviors for specialized elements. The question is what is the safest behavior to define as the default for unspecialized elements that have no other behavior.

>And my thinking on the question of references from generic to specialized maps has us
>maintaining as much information as we can as part of the “processing” steps so that that
>information is available during the “styling” steps.  This allows users to make their own
>choices about what it is they do or don’t expect and how they want to “style” any
>unexpected cases.

Returning to the questions of my previous notes - if I fed to your processors a normalized DITA map that consisted of three concatenated bookmaps, each with their own indexing and TOC behaviors defined, how would your processors handle them? That's behavior that is certainly not defined in the spec, because it is a content model that is not achievable by following the spec.

I respect the instinct to preserve semantics rather than discard them. However, if the preserved semantics can trigger processing rules that will result in broken output, it seems irresponsible to preserve those semantics without some kind of indication from the user that specialized behavior is being engaged. An indication like, for example, the creation of a specialized referencing element.

Michael Priestley, Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM)
Lead IBM DITA Architect

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