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Subject: Stage 1 proposal: outputclass for DITAVAL properties

Today, DITAVAL lets you slap a lot of specific styles on a metadata property. (I say a lot, but it's a relatively small set of specific styles, compared to something like CSS). You can have this:
<prop att="platform" value="MyOS" backcoler="red" style="underline"/>

The meaning there is -- wherever you have platform="MyOS", give it a red background and underline it.

Today, DITA has @outputclass on nearly every element (it will be universal in 2.0). That's largely intended as a place to hang CSS styles -- put outputclass="whatever" on an element and you can use CSS to associate that token with any CSS style. Generally easy in HTML, while the method of adding styles in PDF varies more by tool.

What if we add outputclass to DITAVAL properties? So, for example, you can have this:
<prop att="platform" value="MyOS" outputclass="myos"/>
<revprop value="rev123" outputclass="myrev"/>

Where today you pick a specific set of styles from what DITAVAL allows, and associate those with a property, this would mean "treat this token as if it specified outputclass="myos". Another way of thinking about that would be, "Wherever I have platform="MyOS" or rev="rev123", let me associate this CSS selector with it." With HTML output this would pretty quickly and easily give you access to the full range of CSS for styling. For formats like PDF, just like with @outputclass today, how you make use of the style will vary by tool.

Robert D Anderson
IBM Authoring Tools Development
Chief Architect, DITA Open Toolkit (http://dita-ot.sourceforge.net/)

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