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Subject: Re: [dita] Proposal 13031: Add Line-Through

I'm on the fence when it comes to strike-through -- but if we do it, I do think it belongs in the hi-d alongside <b> and <i>. In hi-d, we can call it what it is and avoid confusion that's likely to result if we don't. To Don's point, folks converting content from tools that include change tracking, this would allow them to preserve that change markup at the formatting level when converting from their legacy format to DITA.

In case the TC at large is not aware, the Tech Comm SC plans to work on markup for change tracking. I don't see that effort in any way interfering with the request to add line-through (or strike-though, as it's often referred to), or vice-versa.


On Jul 27, 2011, at 8:54 PM, Don Day (LbyW) wrote:

I base my view on line-through on the primary use case of migration, both of content and of user expectations coming from a mainly HTML/word processor world view. For other elements in the highlighting domain, the names correspond exactly to incoming names rather than semantic names because it is impossible in most cases to second-guess the author's intent.

One principle of migration is that it is better to name something in a way that can be searched and filtered later than to wrongly name something semantically on import because in this case, the content usually *behaves* correctly but the misuse is hiding in plain sight, seemingly already correct. Italicized content is usually among the hardest to guess at algorithmically given the many allowed meanings in guides like MLA (for titles, emphasis, foreign words, special terms, and alternative to underlines, etc.).

And while many instances of strike-throughs may be rhetorical, I can't say that all of them are. So I'm inclined to leave the highlighting domain focused on preserving legacy notation whenever the intent is algorithmically unfathomable, which justifies the use of "tt" and "strike-through" (which in my experience is more common than "line-through") as commonly used names for those notations.

In deference to the work of the TechComm SC in defining best practices specfically for their audiences, I'd suggest that one of their work products ought to be (if not already booked) the creation of a semantic phrase domain per MLA and other broad writing guidelines that parallels the highlighting domain but codifies the usage in appropriate ways for those who adamantly shun the vernacular variety. The "Typographic Conventions" topic in most tech manuals is precisely the semantic to visual mapping described by various semantic domains including programming and hardware (ie, overbars for flags, which I conceive as specializations of <state> rather than as phrase content).

I was just tempted to put a smiley emoticon there but realized that we might just need a domain for those as well. <smile type="devilish"/>

"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
--T.S. Eliot

On 7/27/2011 11:39 AM, Schengili-Roberts, Keith wrote:
2897F9A373D2544D997C17EDA4B4D7BA2E5A2A1D03@STOREXMBP01.amd.com" type="cite">

I’ll add my “nay” to this idea as well. The “strikethrough” proposal is more a request for a formatting style than a prescription for semantic change. I’d be much happier if the idea called for a semantically-descriptive element (such as “deleted-content”) rather than a prescriptive approach to how that content should be formatted.


As an example of this, we use DeltaXML to help us track changes between documents, and instead of using strikethrough, we use CSS-type changebars in the margin of the text to single out where change has occurred. “Strikethrough” would be a very poor description of the change in content.  


The only instance that Elliot lists that doesn’t quite fit with the rest is the instance of “rhetorical strikethrough”. Thing is, I have never seen that used in any technical documentation, only in non-technical articles. If that is truly needed, then something suitably descriptive, like “rhetorical-deletion” would be more semantically descriptive.


I also agree with Nancy on her points, and I can confirm that overline has a special meaning in semiconductor/electrical engineering content, where it typically means a negative value of the same term without the overline.




Keith Schengili-Roberts
Manager | Graphics Platform Documentation & Localization (Markham) | AMD
o. 905-882-2600 x3218

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From: Nancy Harrison [mailto:nancylph@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4:22 PM
To: Richard Hamilton
Cc: dita
Subject: Re: [dita] Proposal 13031: Add Line-Through



I'm with Richard in not liking the idea of tying 'strikethrough' to revision/change tracking.  However we decide to semantically describe change tracking, I don't want to prescribe how someone has to present those semantics, even if the DITA-OT makes choices in its processing.

I looked at Eliot's list of 'formatting' additions and in addition to strikethrough, I also find the following to be compelling additions to the highlighting domain:
-  overline  (heavily used, btw,  in semiconductor documentation)
-  bold italic
-  roman - removal of bold and/or italic

My reasoning is that these are all, like most of the other highlighting elements, glyph-based but not typeface-based presentation (don't get me started on <tt>, but I know it's historical and can't be avoided.).  If we put these items anywhere except hi-d, it will be very counter-intuitive for people looking for such things.  I would favor adding them to hi-d, creating a constraint module to remove them, and including the constraint module by default in all the vocabulary modules calling hi-d, the way we do with the strictTaskbodyConstraint in tasks for 1.2.

I don't consider any of the other items in the formatting group to fall naturally into the same category.  Even though blink does meet the glyph-based/non-typeface-based model, and could probably be construed as 'highlighting' in some sense, it doesn't feel like the same thing.

my $.02


On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 1:38 PM, Richard Hamilton <hamilton@xmlpress.net> wrote:

I'm concerned that we're straying into a gray area with some of this discussion about strike through.

Even though I'm a "strict constructionist" when it comes to semantic markup (must be my DocBook roots:), I do understand the usefulness of a highlighting domain. If nothing else, it helps you avoid some of the egregious tag abuse that I'm sure most of us have witnessed (if not perpetrated ourselves). I also like the idea that if you're going to have representation markup, it should be called out as such and kept separate.

However, in the discussion today about strikethrough and revision markup, we blurred the line between representational and semantic markup.

Yes, strikethrough is typically used to show deletions in revision markup, but from a markup point of view, there is no more connection between strikethrough and revision markup than there is between italics and the <var> element.

My hope is that we make sure that in creating revision/correction markup we avoid anything that ties the markup to a particular representation, and that in extending the highlighting domain (and possibly creating a formatting domain) we avoid suggesting that elements in those domains are the preferred way to represent revision/correction markup (or any other kind of semantic markup).

Best Regards,
Richard Hamilton
XML Press
XML for Technical Communicators

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Nancy Harrison
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