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Subject: Re: Formal vs. informal

David Cramer <david@thingbag.net> writes:
> On 12/11/2013 07:45 AM, Norman Walsh wrote:
>> Maybe those aren't good names but the distinction is simple:
>> "formal" objects have required titles, "informal" ones don't.
> ...
> Wrt this, I've always wondered about <procedure>. Was
> <informalprocedure> just way too long? Or did it predate the distinction?

In the beginning, as I recall, we had table, figure, and example with
required titles and equation and procedure with optional titles.

There was resistance to making title on, for example, figure, optional
because books often contained "lists of figures" with their labels and
titles. Processing systems 20 years ago(!) weren't as flexible as they
are today. Saying that the list of figures should only include those
<figure> elements that had a child <title> wasn't practical.

So the informal variants were added.

Making the title required wasn't backwards compatible. We created
informalequation and probably should have created informalprocedure
too, but it just didn't occur to anyone and no one asked.

I suppose making the titles optional and abandoning the "informal*"
elements is a possibility today. For DocBook V6 or beyond.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>      | There is always some accident in
http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/ | the best of things, whether
Chair, DocBook Technical Committee | thoughts or expressions or deeds.
                                   | The memorable thought, the happy
                                   | expression, the admirable deed are
                                   | only partly yours.--Henry David
                                   | Thoreau

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