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Subject: <indexterm> questions raised by Toshihiko Makita

Here is a list of the questions raised by Toshihiko-san on March 26:

1) How should implementations treat <indexterm> entries that are located in the following places?

General location
Specific example provided by Toshihiko-san
Other (added by Eberlein)
Titles in maps

Metadata in maps
Non-body content in topics

2) How should implementations treat a "ranged indexterm" when it begins in a title or shortdesc/abstract, for example:
<title><ph>Sample title<indexterm start="INDEXTERM_IN_TITLE">Sample
Indexterm in title</indexterm></ph></title>
Analysis of DITA 1.2 spec
The bulk of the content is in indexterm . It distinguishes between the following types of <indexterm> entries:
  • <indexterm> entries located in topic/prolog or map/topicref/topicmeta
  • <indexterm> entries located in "the body of a topic"

It does not specify how <indexterm> entries located in <title> or <shortdesc> or <abstract> elements should be handled.

1. <indexterm> entries in bookmap <mainbooktitle> or <booktitlealt>
Nothing in the spec addresses this. Do we need to clarify? If so, should such <indexterm> entries be ignored or left undefined?

Why do we allow <indexterm> entries in the bookmap title elements but not the <title> element in a map? Because <maintbooktitle> and <booktitlealt> are specialized from <ph>?

2. <indexterm> entries in bookmap/bookmeta/keywords or map/topicmeta/keywords
Relevant content in topicmeta
and bookmeta, but it doesn't address the question of metadata that applies to the map as a whole (rather than a specific <topicref>. Do we need to clarify this? The <indexterm> element is not an element that cascades ...

3. <indexterm> entries in non-body content of topics

My personal take is that <indexterm> entries located in a <title> element should be treated as <indexterm> entries located in the <prolog>; here is the current wording in the spec:

"An indexterm that occurs in a topic prolog is interpreted as a point reference 
to the title of the topic. Likewise, an indexterm that occurs in <topicmeta> inside 
of a <topicref> is interpreted as a point reference to the title of the referenced topic."

And <indexterm> entries located in <shortdesc> or <abstract> should be treated as "a point reference that will contribute the number of the current page". If other TC members agree, we could clarify this point by tightening the language and examples in the <indexterm> element topic.

Kristen James Eberlein
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting

Co-chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
Charter member, OASIS DITA Adoption Committee
+1 919 682-2290; kriseberlein (skype)

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