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Subject: Re: [dita] Question about normative language re processors and the new <sort-as> element

I absolutely agree. This lapse in the spec has caused problems with processors ignoring sort-as.

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On Mar 10, 2014, at 7:46 PM, "Kristen James Eberlein" <kris@eberleinconsulting.com> wrote:

Currently, the spec draft basically says that processors SHOULD handle the <sort-as> element in certain ways. (Text copied below)

A review comment asks why this is not a MUST statement.


Processors SHOULD expect to encounter <sort-as> elements in the above locations and process them correctly, including the following considerations and precedence rules:

  • A <sort-as> element that is specified in a title takes precedence over a <sort-as> element that is specified in the topic prolog.
  • Except for instances in the topic prolog, processors should only apply <sort-as> elements that are either a direct child of the element to be sorted or a direct child of the title- or label-defining element of the element to be sorted.
  • When an element contains multiple, direct-child, <sort-as> elements, the first direct-child <sort-as> element in document order takes precedence. Within topic prologs, the first <sort-as> element in document order takes precedence.
  • When located within an <indexterm> element, the <sort-as> element is equivalent to <index-sort-as>. It is an error for an <indexterm> element to directly contain both <sort-as> and <index-sort-as> elements.
  • Sort phrases are determined after filtering and content reference resolution is applied.

When a <sort-as> element is specified, processors that sort the containing element MUST construct the effective sort phrase by prepending the content of the <sort-as> element to the base sort phrase. This ensures that two items with the same <sort-as> element but different base sort phrases will sort in the appropriate order.


Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting
+1 919 682-2290; kriseberlein (skype)

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