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Subject: Re: Request For Clarification: Indexterm processing in auto-index generation.

/ Stefan Seefeld <seefeld@sympatico.ca> was heard to say:
| earlier this year I asked about the expected and 'correct' behavior
| for index generation in HTML and pdf, as I found (find) the current
| behavior surprising.
| I still find these two texts to contradict each other. I do find the
| suggested processing expectation from TDG much more intuitive than the
| one explained in "DocBook XSL: The Complete Guide".
| At least, I'd appreciate if those two texts could be made to agree on
| what the expected processing should be like. :-)

DocBook: The Definitive Guide is normative with respect to the
processing expectations. The HTML stylesheets simply don't satisfy
those expectations.

If you can think of a way to present the index in HTML that more
closely matches the expectations, I'd be happy to implement it.

The screw case is this one:

<section xml:id="foo">
<title>Some section title</title>
<para><indexterm xml:id="foo.idx"><primary>Foo</primary></indexterm>...</para>
<!-- 35 more paras -->
<para><indexterm xml:id="foo2.idx"><primary>Foo</primary></indexterm>...</para>

In the index, that's currently presented as:


    Foo, _Some section title_

where both terms have been collapsed into one. Representing both links
with the same section title


    Foo, _Some section title_, _Some section title_

seems hopelessly confusing and would lead to nearly illegible indexes.
Likewise, using pseudo-page numbers:


    Foo, _1_, _2_

is misleading because readers have been conditioned to think of those as
page numbers. A "1" under Foo should be the same place as a "1" under
Bar which simply won't be the case.

I suppose they could be numbered sequentially throughout the document,
but that'd be misleading too. Though maybe less so. At least "14" and
"15" would be near each other in the text and "14" and "352" wouldn't

Anyway, linking to the right place isn't hard, it's finding
appropriate link text for the index that's hard.

Suggestions welcome.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com> | The finest amusements are the most
http://nwalsh.com/            | pointless ones.--Jacques Chardonne

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