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Subject: Re: [docbook-tc] indexterm: primary optional

Richard Hamilton <hamilton@xmlpress.net> writes:
> Back a couple of years ago, RFE 2900458, "Make xml:id required on
> start-of-range index terms," was filed and deferred to 6.0 to avoid
> backwards compatibility problems (I'm not quite sure what the
> incompatibility was). Here is the link:

The issue was requiring an ID where one is not required now. That
might break some documents. Not useful ones, probably, since a
start-of-range term without an ID can't be referenced, but ...

> Right now, it is legal to have a completely empty <indexterm/> (i.e.,
> no content and no attributes) or to have an <indexterm> with a
> <secondary> element but no <primary> element, for example the
> following two statements are valid:
> <indexterm/>
> <indexterm><secondary>some term</secondary</indexterm>
> It turns out that if class="endofrange", then <indexterm> must be
> empty, but the reverse isn't true. That is, all <indexterms> except
> those with class="endofrange" should require at least a <primary>
> element, but they do not.

Interesting. This is probably a consequence of DTD limitations. Primary
had to be optional so that an end-of-range term could be empty.

I think you're right that primary should be required in the singular
and start-of-range terms.

That is, alas, backwards incompatible.

> So, the question I have is whether this situation should be lumped
> into the previous RFE and turn it into a general "clean up index term"
> RFE for 6.0, or are there parts that could be handled in an earlier
> release?
> Either way, I'm glad to either create a new RFE or update the current one.

Let's have a separate issue.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>      | Well-being is attained by little
http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/ | and little, and nevertheless it is
Chair, DocBook Technical Committee | no little thing itself.--Zen of
                                   | Citium

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