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Subject: Product names and reuse

A thread about difficulty in reusing products names has cropped up on the dita-users list.

Problem descriptions
1) Information architects or editors design a reuse strategy that revolves around using the <ph> element to hold product names. They then discover that they cannot put a <ph> element within any of the following elements:
  • <uicontrol>
  • <wintitle>

2) Another team decides to use <keyword> to hold their product names -- better choice -- but they also discover that they cannot put a keyword element within a <wintitle> element; they have to duplicate their product names within <text> elements for use within <wintitle> elements. And the <tm> element is not available within <text>.

3) Yet another team is stymied because their product name contains typographic formatting (superscript, subscript, bold or italic formatting, an inline image) that cannot be contained in either the <keyword> or <text> element. And while the text element can nest, the @outputclass attribute is not available.

Architects and the writers are caught between a strong desire to reuse content and ensure that product names are consistently used, and a need to have their company's name render correctly.

Thoughts about how we might try to address this problem? And sense about how big (or small) this problem is?


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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