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Subject: FW: cascade vs. inherit

Here is the conversation that Erik Hennum and I had about “inherit” and “cascade” a little over a year ago now.  Hopefully it is still useful.




From: Ogden, Jeff
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:40 PM
To: 'Erik Hennum'
Cc: 'Robert D Anderson'
Subject: RE: cascade vs. inherit


OK, then for the purposes of element and attribute values we won’t use the term “inherit” and we’ll saying things like:


   [certain] element and attribute values cascade to decedents

   [certain] element and attribute values are propagated from a map to a topic and will cascade within the topic


Let me know if this looks more or less right.  No reply necessary unless I’ve got it wrong.




From: Erik Hennum [mailto:ehennum@us.ibm.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:02 PM
To: Ogden, Jeff
Cc: Robert D Anderson
Subject: Re: cascade vs. inherit


Hi, Jeff:

To avoid confusion of type hierarchies and containment hierarchies, I'd suggest the following terminology:

  • "inherit" for type hierarchies
  • "cascade" for containment hierarchies

Because topics are not part of the map containment hierarchy, maybe "propagate" or "populate" would be a better term.

On the other hand, maybe obsessing about such distinctions is a little excessive...

Thanks for the pragmatic scrupulousness,

Erik Hennum



"Ogden, Jeff" <jogden@ptc.com>


Erik Hennum/Oakland/IBM@IBMUS


06/11/2008 09:45 AM


cascade vs. inherit

 [The DITA 1.1 Architecture Spec]  uses the term “inherit” in the sense that certain attributes and elements inherit values from ancestors. But I think we want to change things to use the term “cascade” instead, as in certain attributes and element values cascade to their decedents.

I want to make sure I am using the terminology correctly and Robert suggested that I check with you.

Is this a change that we want to make?

Should cascade replace all use of the term inherit or are there still cases where a value doesn’t cascade, but it does inherit?

We have the case of cascading within a single topic or map document and we have the case of cascading from a map to a topic. Is cascade the right term to use for these two cases?


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