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Subject: Issue #345 and the <abbreviated-form> element

I've gotten (very solid) reviews from each reviewer about #345, "New element for defining variable text." But we've uncovered an issue about the <abbreviated-form> that we need the TC to consider.

The DITA 1.3 rules for how processors resolve variable text start with the following text:

" 1. For theÂ<abbreviated-form>Âelement, see the rules described inÂabbreviated-form."

Because <abbreviated-form> does not exist in the base, I excluded it from the rules that I proposed in issue #345. (And the "rules" outlined for <abbreviated-form> in 1.3 are quite problematic ...)

However, reviewers rightfully pointed out that we (DITA TC and spec) need to account for <abbreviated-form>. Chris Nitchie suggested that we had the following options:

1. We modify this proposal to add it.
2. When the time comes, abbreviated-form in 2.0 uses some other mechanism of its own design (with its own attributes) to reference the thing it's pointing to, which is like a keyref, but different in its text resolution.
3. The abbreviated-form element doesn't make the transition to 2.0, and we mandate that the abbreviated forms be defined as their own keys in 2.0.
4. We decide to go ahead and allow abbreviated-form to have its own keytext resolution rules.

Robert Anderson suggested that we treat the DITA 1.3 rules for <abbreviated-form> as DITA 2.0 rendering expectations.

Obviously, we need discussion here ...

Here's a bried summary of what the 1.3 spec says about <abbreviated-form>:

1. If the <abbreviated-form> element references a non-glossentry topic, render the title of the referenced topic. (This conflicts with what is proposed in #345.)
ÂÂÂ If the <abbreviated-form> element references a glossentry topic, go to #2.

2. If the <abbreviated-form> element is in an "introductory context, go to #3.
ÂÂÂ If the <abbreviated-form> element is in a "non-introductory context, go to #34.

3. Render the contents of the following elements, in the specified order:
ÂÂ a. <glossSurfaceForm>
ÂÂ b. <glossterm>

4. Render the contents of the following elements, in the specified order:
ÂÂ a. <glossAcronym>
ÂÂ b. <glossterm>

We do not define "introductory" or "non-introductory" contexts. In fact, we explicitly say "Note that the definition of an introductory context will differ for each deliverable format."


Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
OASIS Distinguished Contributor
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting LLC
+1 919 622-1501; kriseberlein (skype)

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