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

At 05:28 PM 4/5/00 -0400, Norman Walsh wrote:
>Toying with the stylesheets :-), I'm convinced that you're
>right.  How about 'constraintdef' instead of 'constraintnote'
>(I'm thinking this is more like a definition (a la glossdef)
>than a note).

Fine with me.  But I'm not sure why you think an admonition-style 
appearance is so imposing.  That's exactly how it's done in the XML-related 
specs, and with good reason: They're sort of extra-special-normative text.

>Except that they aren't IDREFs. So maybe 'def' is better, but
>  - You suggested that constraint should be empty, but that it
>    might point to an external resource by xpointer. Um, I have
>    qualms about that. I think we should either make it an IDREF
>    or allow it to have content. I don't think we can reasonably
>    expect stylesheets to reach over the web and grab stuff,
>    especially since most of the stuff they could grab would be
>    in different DTDs or even HTML.

I hadn't intended for constraints to point out to other documents; the 
constraintdef should be in the same document.  It's fine with me if it's an 

>I'm starting to think the semantic for 'nt' and 'constraint'
>should be that the generate content if empty (in which case they
>must have an IDREF (expressed as an xpointer)) or they can
>contain content. [Can you say #CONREF? :-)]

That seems okay.

>| 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.
>I don't feel strongly about this one. But I don't want to have
>to add informalproductionset in the future :-), so we might as
>well make it optional now, I guess.


>I don't want the constraint text in the 'constraint' element,
>just the text that should be "hot" in the link to the

Sorry, I'm lost.  The production contains a constraint (kind of like a 
callout), which is a link to the constraint note/def.  In XMLspec, the 
constraint element is empty and the title on the constraint note is 
generated in place and made clickable.  So that seems like it meets your 

On the subject of <nt> vs. <nonterminal>, I agree that it's much more in 
the DocBook style to call it the latter...


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

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