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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK: Proposal #2 for BNF/EBNF markup

At 12:53 PM 4/5/00 -0400, Norman Walsh wrote:
>I don't think we need a constraintnote element. How the author
>chooses to indicate constraints should be up to them. For
>example, I think formalparas might work just fine in some
>cases. I particularly don't think that constraintnote should be
>an admonition.

Fair enough, I guess.  It does have to be something with a guaranteed 
title, though, since the processing expectation is to pick it up and 
display it in the production.  For DocBook purposes, I guess it doesn't 
make sense to force people to encode their constraint text in a consistent 
way (if we're not willing to make a constraintnote element), but in a real 
authoring environment, I'd want to enforce picking one way to do 
it.  Constraints are important normative info; you can't be sloppy about them.

>New issues:
>  - I changed the linking attribute from 'def' to 'linkend' for consistency

Oops, yeah.

>  - You give productionset a required title, then didn't use the title in
>    your examples. So I made the title optional.

Sorry -- I was giving examples of individual productions, not groups of 
productions in a set.  In the original XML spec, you'll notice that each of 
the productions for which I gave examples is part of a set, which is 
named.  But I can agree with not requiring the title; e.g., to my 
knowledge, it's never used in any TOCs or anything.

>  - Making constraint empty requires that the stylesheet be able to generate
>    something reasonable. Maybe we should allow it to have content or be
>    empty, as per my description of NT above (and not without precedent,
>    consider the semantics of 'link' with endterm)

As I noted above, you could just require that it point to something with a 
title, so the title can be grabbed and displayed.  Alternatively, we could 
mandate that the constraint text be stuffed into the constraint element 
inside the production, but I'm not crazy about it.  I don't want to allow a 
title inside the constraint element, because that opens up the possibility 
that a constraint that applies n different productions (which happens 
sometimes) will be assigned different titles.

>There were some typos in your decls; here's a proper
>customization layer:

Yeah, I did it off the cuff, so I'm not surprised!


Eve Maler                                    +1 781 442 3190
Sun Microsystems XML Technology Center    elm @ east.sun.com

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