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Subject: Re: [dita] Conditional processing with the @rev attribute

The description of the attribute in the language reference is clear, and the description of flagging behavior for the ditaval elements is clear:

The architectural spec topic does not make the distinction adequately, but the distinction has always been there, and the expected behavior is described in the language spec.

I think this is an area where we need to clear up the language in the arch spec, and also add links to the relevant portions of the lang spec.

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

From: Kristen James Eberlein <kris@eberleinconsulting.com>
To: dita@lists.oasis-open.org
Date: 07/15/2010 09:56 PM
Subject: Re: [dita] Conditional processing with the @rev attribute

Su-Laine, my understanding is that the @rev attribute is used for flagging but not filtering. Both filtering and flagging fall under the rubric of "conditional processing." Can others confirm this?

Obviously, we need to clarify the spec around this point.



Kristen James Eberlein

Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting
Secretary, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
Charter member, OASIS DITA Adoption Committee
+1 919 682-2290; kriseberlein (skype)

On 7/15/2010 9:30 PM, Su-Laine Yeo wrote:

Hi everyone,

As far as I know, the @rev attribute has always been included in the list of conditional processing attributes (http://docs.oasis-open.org/dita/v1.1/CD02/archspec/condproc.html). I don’t know of anything in the DITA 1.1 spec that says that it should be processed differently from the other conditional processing attributes.

However, AFAIK the Open Toolkit ignores DITAVAL statements to exclude content based on @rev, and a recent statement from Michael was that “rev cannot be used for filtering”: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/dita-users/message/17821 . It’s not clear to me whether Michael’s statement is a statement of how the OT currently behaves or if it’s a statement of how the OT should behave.

The draft DITA 1.2 spec deepens my confusion. It says, “DITA defines five attributes that are specifically intended to enable filtering or flagging of individual elements. Those attributes are @audience, @platform, @product, @otherprops, and @props.” But then a few paragraphs later under a section titled “Conditional processing attributes” it lists six attributes including @rev.

So is @rev a conditional processing attribute or not? What is our expectation from processors?

a) Processors should filter based on @rev if instructed to do so by the DITAVAL file

b) Processors may choose to filter based on @rev if instructed to do so by the DITAVAL file

c) Processors must never filter based on @rev regardless of what the DITAVAL file says

In my opinion, the wording of the DITA 1.1 spec indicates option A or B, so we can’t change the expected behaviour to C without breaking backwards-compatibility.


Su-Laine Yeo
Solutions Consultant

JustSystems Canada, Inc.
Office: 778-327-6356



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