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Subject: Re: [docbook-tc] proposal: add topic element to DocBook

On 13/07/2009, Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com> wrote:
> "Bob Stayton" <bobs@sagehill.net> writes:
> > appropriate for a topic.  Also, article currently cannot
> > be a child of chapter or appendix.
> I wonder if that's a bug.

Instinctively (to me) it feels right Norm? Why do you
see it as a possible bug?

> > Here are is the proposed design for topic:
> >
> > 1. The content model for topic is identical to that of section.
> >
> > 2. A topic type is indicated by a class attribute value.
> > For example, "task", "reference", "concept", etc.
> Do you really want an enumerated list of class values, or does it make
> more sense to allow a type attribute, which is open-ended by default?

Open ended please? That lets us mimic 'the other house' ideas,
and extend as needed within docbook?

> > 3. A topic cannot include topic children.  Allowing a topic
> > to contain other topic elements breaks the semantic of
> > "standalone unit of information".
> The assembly layer can construct nested topics, can't it?

That would  break Bobs rule that topics can't be nested (which seems right
to make them stand alone.
  Multiple sibling topics within an assembly though, yes.

> >> I've long suspected we would eventually need a topic element. The
> strongest arguments aren't technical, in my mind, they're about user
> expectations and perception.
> This proposal seems like the right thing to me.

And me. Possibly since I have slowly accepted it over the time it's
been discussed on this list!

Will it (and assemblies) be documented in tdg Norm, they are quite
different from much of other docbook markup?


Dave Pawson
Docbook FAQ.

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