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Subject: Re: [dita] DITA 1.2 Review Comment: Thoughts on topicgroup,navtitle, and locktitle

On 8/24/10 3:15 PM, "Robert D Anderson" <robander@us.ibm.com> wrote:

>> That is, I cannot unilaterally specialize from map/topicref and declare,
> in
>> my vocabulary documentation, that any navtitle for my specialization be
>> ignored.
> Why not? You should be perfectly within your rights to have your own
> vocabulary, with your own documentation, where your own documentation
> states something like "In this specialization of X, I'll process
> differently than my ancestor in this specific way." Any processor claiming
> support specifically for your vocabulary specialization must follow that
> rule; any other conforming DITA processor will (must) use the default
> fallback behavior.

The difference is that if the DITA spec says it it's a normative requirement
of all conforming processors that support the mapgroup domain to treat
topicgroup specially, so they have to do it.

Putting anything in my personal vocabulary that overrides the default
behavior required by the DITA spec is going to go nowhere and I would never
depend on it because it would be negating the very value of specialization,
namely stuff happens automatically because of the built-in defaults.

It's one thing to define *additional* semantics for specializations--that's
expected. It's quite another to define *variant* semantics for
specializations--that seems both wrong and ill advised.

So again I say, if groupness is something a topicref either does or doesn't
have, we need a way to say that independently.

I can certainly see that being able to have titled groups would be
handy--that's pretty typical of how I do markup design, so I think it would
be useful to be able to have groups with titles that still do not contribute
to navigation and do not impose their non-navigation behavior onto their

On the other hand, I don't think it would be the end of the world to have to
specialize from mapgroup just to get groupness if we did decide to make
topicgroup a special case, so I won't go to the mat if everyone else thinks
that's ok. It just bothers me to have a special case like this.

That is, if I want to design specialized topicrefs that act as groups and
that may also have titles, having to specialize from mapgroup would be OK
since it doesn't impose any inappropriate constraints, even though it would
otherwise be unnecessary.



Eliot Kimber
Senior Solutions Architect
"Bringing Strategy, Content, and Technology Together"
Main: 512.554.9368

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