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Subject: Re: [dita] Types of links

Eliot is so right about the terminological challenges of maps. They can be whatever you want them to be; your definition will depend upon the context in which you apply them. In fact, in the original article about DITA (http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/x-dita1/) we called them "delivery contexts" in an effort to not hinder the understanding of their use with any single normative example.

My web applications use maps to describe headers for web sites, bookmark files, search results, RESTful collections, and more. Excepting the processing-specific metadata in the map schema, topicrefs are basically a serialization of a directed graph. In that regard, the order and nesting of topicrefs can say a great deal about the relationships of the resources they cite, particularly when specialization applies patterns of semantics and use to the resources (contrast the role of subject scheme map with bookmap or a translation manifest map, for example). Some of these uses may represent Views (publishing renditions) while others may represent Models (subject schemes or site maps) or Collections (lists of things selected by query).

The most pure thing you can say about maps is that they represent a data model for resource relationships; everything else is a skin applied to that model.

On 12/3/2015 8:50 AM, Eliot Kimber wrote:
I think of normal-role topicrefs not in reltables as "organizational" or
"structural" (to the degree that I've thought about a single term at all).

I've used "navigational" to refer to links within content that take you
somewhere else (xrefs, reltable-defined links rendered as navigational

Conrefs are clearly transclusion links in the sense meant by Ted Nelson.

One of the terminological challenges here is that DITA does not limit the
use of maps to the description of publication structures, even though
that's the most common case. So we can't make a statement like
"normal-role topicrefs not in reltables establish the organizational
structure of a publication" because that's not the *only* thing they can
do, unless you take "publication" to mean "any set of resources organized
into a hierarchy for any purpose", which is kind of a pointless definition.

One thing to consider for DITA 2.0 is to enable this codification of map
== publication by definition a specialization of map that explicitly means
"publication" in the sense given above. It would be structurally identical
to base map (that is, it wouldn't impose any additional constraints) but
it would allow us to then say "in the context of a publication map
normal-role topicrefs not in relationship tables establish the initial
organizational structure of the publication. The effective organizational
structure may be determined by additional processing that reorders or
augments the base structure, such as generating a glossary based on terms
referenced from topics or sorting reference entries based on
locale-specific collation rules."


Eliot Kimber, Owner
Contrext, LLC

On 12/2/15, 6:28 PM, "Tom Magliery" <dita@lists.oasis-open.org on behalf
of tom.magliery@justsystems.com> wrote:

A brief distraction while we await The Vote.

I've never been entirely happy about how I characterize topicrefs when
I'm teaching people about link types. I'm happy with "navigational" links
(related, xref, et al) and "transclusional" links (image, conref), but
not so much with "structural", as I've called topicrefs. A colleague just
suggested "compositional", which sounds better right this minute, but
that might be only because it's a new name to consider, and because of
the neat "...ional" naming parallelism.

Do you have another word for them?

Or do you consider topicrefs to be in the same category as conref and
image links? And in that case, what do you call that category?
Transclusional doesn't seem right.


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