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Subject: weak/strong constraint proposal

The following proposal is relative to the existing constraint design documented here:

I'm starting with the assumption that we would want the default or normal behavior to be weak constraints - so I'm proposing a notation to declare when a constraint should be respected/required for interoperability, and letting the default be to assume that the constraint is not required.


Proposed notation: optionally precede the normal constraint declaration with an "s" for strong.

s(topic hi-d basicHighlight-c)

This notation is parallel to the notation for attribute domains, where a leading "a" is used to identify the value as having special meaning.

Normally-declared constraints are to be ignored by conref processing, in order to ease sharing between groups that have implemented constraints primarily to enforce authoring guidelines, rather than for strict processing requirements.

If there is a processor or other strong dependency on a constraint being present, then the constraint can be declared in the document type with the prefix "s". The constraint should then be handled in exactly the way currently described in the existing design.


Let me know if this is enough - it's a fairly simple proposal, relative to the existing one :-) But if it would be useful for me to go in and edit the original, I can.

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

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