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Subject: Re: [dita] Product names and reuse

Another potential issue with the glossary-based approach is that the
currently-defined behavior for any keyref-based reference from <term> or
<keyword> to a topic is to make the reference into a working navigational
hyperlink, which would often not be desired.

If you wanted to use a glossary entry to hold variant forms of the term for
use by conkeyref, you're still faced with the problem that <tm> can't
contain <ph>, <text> can't contain <tm>, etc.

You could create multiple glossary entries, one for each variation and put
the necessary markup in the <glossterm> element, and then use a key naming
convention to have a base part of the name plus a distinguishing bit, e.g.
"prodname_base", "prodname_singular", "prodname_singular_possessive", but
that would be a lot of glossary entry topics which wouldn't otherwise be
naturally related to each other, so that seems not so good.

I will observe that the "variables" mechanism I defined in DITA for
Publishers (and proposed but withdrew in the face of complexity objections)
could easily be adapted to do something like what Troy outlined, since the
mechanism is completely semantic and doesn't depend on any existing DITA
conref or addressing facilities.

It also addresses the scoping requirement that keys don't meet in DITA 1.2
(and may never meet given our progress to date on defining scoped keys).



On 1/16/13 1:20 PM, "Jim Tivy" <jimt@bluestream.com> wrote:

> Yes, I like the term and glossary approach.  If the name of the feature (term
> name) is changed, then you can use a "who references me" on the glossary entry
> and read the topics to ensure that they still make sense.  If the meaning of
> the feature name changes significantly then there will be problems so all its
> contexts have to be checked.
> For plurals and possessives or other alternative forms of the term the link or
> glossref key should go to the appropriate glossAlt/glossShortForm entry.
> Note, glossShortForm is not fully appropriate but I see no other more
> appropriate tag. 
> If we can use a fragment identifier in the glossref href then this linking to
> different forms could be like this:
> <glossref keys="front.panel.plural"
> href="geFrontPanel.dita#TopicId_FrontPanel/altplural"/>
> For translation, it sounds like there are potential problems with word
> inclusion mechanisms such as this term one.  Unless translation tools also let
> the translator view the "who references me" to review the contextual effect of
> their translations these problems may persist and the entire word inclusion
> mechanism is brought into question for translation output.
> From: dita@lists.oasis-open.org [mailto:dita@lists.oasis-open.org] On Behalf
> Of Mark Poston
> Sent: January-16-13 2:58 AM
> To: dita@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: Re: [dita] Product names and reuse
> Andrzej,
> I would be interested to understand more about how, in your unbiased opinion,
> these issues can be resolved in DITA. Or, indeed, whether you think that they
> cannot be resolved and need the support of 3rd party tools when translation is
> required.
> In a project I have recently been working on we came to the conclusion that
> reuse methodologies were not appropriate due to the reasons you have stated.
> The translation vendor concerned raised their concerns about having to
> translate reused terms (not just product names).
> The actual solution was more about having to translate terminology whilst
> still needing to link to glossary entries. The result was that we used <term>
> tags to link to glossary entries. Where no content was defined in the term,
> the value could be pulled from the glossary entry itself. This gave the
> translators, however, the ability to do what they needed within the scope of
> the <term> tag.
> This solution, however, would still fall apart if names or terms completely
> changed.
> I can't see that there can be a completely DITA-based solution to this issue,
> especially when translation is required.
> Kind regards
> Mark Poston
> Senior Technical Consultant
> Mekon Ltd.
> Tel. +44 20 8722 8461
> Mob +44 7515 906032
> Skype mark_mekon.com
> From: Andrzej Zydron <azydron@xtm-intl.com>
> Organization: XTM-INTL
> Date: Tuesday, 15 January 2013 18:34
> To: "dita@lists.oasis-open.org" <dita@lists.oasis-open.org>
> Subject: Re: [dita] Product names and reuse
> Hi Troy,
> Thank you for this interesting post. Your mechanism will work for English, and
> the small group of languages with a similar primitive morphology.
> Unfortunately it will fall apart when you come to translate the XML content
> into any language with a richer morphology - the resultant output will produce
> ungrammatical output and the cost of recovery from this will be extensive.
> English is a linguistic freak (a fact that is lost on most monolingual English
> speakers) which allows for the relative easy substitutions that you described.
> I you plan to translate your content into other languages this is not a
> practical possibility.
> Best Regards,
> Andrzej Zydroń
> ---------------------------------------
> XTM International Ltd.
> PO Box 2167, Gerrards Cross, SL9 8XF, UK
> email: azydron@xtm-intl.com <mailto:azydron@xtm-intl.com>
> Tel: +44 (0) 1753 480 479
> Mob: +44 (0) 7966 477 181
> skype: Zydron
> www.xtm-intl.com <http://www.xtm-intl.com/>
> On 15/01/2013 15:20, Troy Klukewich wrote:
>> I've been watching people hack DITA for years trying to deal with product and
>> sometimes feature names in a consistent XML-like way.
>> Prior to DITA, I worked on a similar XML architecture
>> (concept/task/reference)
>> with a custom processing kit. With numerous product names and feature names
>> in 
>> an almost continual state of flux, we decided to treat product names and
>> feature names as global variables with a mapping file for the literal strings
>> (in English). The literal product and feature names were then inserted at
>> build time and appeared in the output. (We used editor maps to virtually
>> display the same content in the authoring editor for the convenience of
>> writers.)
>> The inherent problem with this approach is that the mapped strings must be
>> translatable. As products and features can have plurals and possessives,
>> these 
>> must also be handled in the mapping file and accounted for in the variable
>> element. 
>> It is not permissible for instance to have a construct like: <varProduct>s or
>> <varProduct>'s appear in the XML content as translators will translate the
>> mapping file elsewhere and not be able to easily reconcile the plurals and
>> possessives in the content itself. (I think these were the only variations we
>> had to worry about, but it's been a while I admit.)
>> So we expanded the variables schema to include attributes for plurals and
>> possessives in the variable elements themselves, which the writers selected
>> at 
>> authoring time. This required some training as the process is a little
>> abstract. You do not for instance add an apostrophe to the product XML
>> element 
>> when building a possessive, but select an attribute in the editor and let the
>> build do it.
>> The mapping file then contained base product and feature names plus their
>> plural and possessive forms.
>> A build engineer maintained the mapping files and creation of new variable
>> codes supporting first instance of new features and product names. We had
>> workflow where writers would contact the engineer when needing a new variable
>> value that was not already covered, though most were set up at the beginning
>> of a release with the identification of new products and features.
>> The upside of this approach is that the output for product or feature names
>> was entirely automated. If feature or product names changed late, as often
>> happens in the software industry, we tweaked the mapping file at build time
>> and the writers didn't have to do anything at all.
>> As far as graphics and special formatting in some product and feature names
>> went, we handled this purely at build time with special processing
>> instructions for the applicable variables. Otherwise, we're really talking
>> about desktop publishing practices in XML and I'm not sure if DITA should
>> inherently support this or if those features should be handled with a custom
>> processing chain for those particular elements. Strictly speaking, formatting
>> and graphics are a rendering operation during build time. In XML, writers
>> shouldn't have to care about how to format a product name or add special
>> graphics to it. That's my philosophy as an anti-DTP guy.
>> I'm sure there are other ways to accomplish the same thing, but this global
>> mapping architecture worked really well, saved a lot of time, and was just
>> generally really convenient all around for everybody once implemented.
>> In short, I inherently think of product and feature names as variables and
>> whatever architecture handles and processes them must be able to address the
>> issues of variables in text.
>> Troy Klukewich
>> Manager & Information Architect
>> Fusion HCM
>> Oracle Corporation
>> On 1/14/2013 1:43 PM, Kristen James Eberlein wrote:
>> 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?
>> -- 
>> Best,
>> Kris

Eliot Kimber
Senior Solutions Architect, RSI Content Solutions
"Bringing Strategy, Content, and Technology Together"
Main: 512.554.9368
Book: DITA For Practitioners, from XML Press,

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