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From Jeff Turner <>
Subject Re: Allow "role" attribute in document DTD
Date Sat, 27 Dec 2003 08:59:31 GMT
On Sat, Dec 27, 2003 at 02:25:26AM -0400, Ross Gardler wrote:
> Jeff Turner wrote:
> >+1 for the general idea.
> >
> >Perhaps 'class' (as in HTML) instead of 'role'?  Is there a difference?
> I did think about class, and in most cases it will do the job. The 
> reason I didn't go for it in the end was because I thought that there 
> may be a need for different classes of (in my case) slides. However, I 
> haven't actually come across a use case for this yet.
> Another reason for going with role was the REST architecture idea that 
> an application could intelligently interpret the purpose of a part of a 
> document using the role attribute. Class is about display only whereas
> "slide" or "glossary" are about the intended purpose of that section of
> data.
> In the original source document this is in the markup language
> itself, but in xdoc this is lost.
> An example of why this may be important...
> Suppose, we have a tutorial on how to build a Forrest web site. This 
> tutorial has a series of links. Some of which give extra detail about a 
> topic by linking to different tutorials. Some gice glossary definitions, 
> some define a trail through the training materials. Using role you can 
> indicate all of these. Consider the following code:
> An XML document ready for display by Forrest conforms to <link 
> href="xdocDTD" role="forrestTrailIntermediate glossary">Document v1.2 
> DTD</link>, however, you need not write your documents in this format. 
> By configuring your <link href="sitemap" role="forrestTrailAdvanced 
> glossary">sitemap.xmap</link> accordingly and providing <link href="xsl"

> role="glossary">XSL</link> you can cause Forrest to convert any source 
> format into the native XDoc format ready for display.
> Here, we have three links. All of them have a role of "glossary", one 
> indicates it is part of the intermediate forrest trail, the other is 
> advanced. A client application can now be built that extracts all 
> glossary terms from a website (by retrieving the XDoc source), or it 
> could build a single document for the each of the forrest trails etc.
> Since class is intended to describe display information I'm not sure if 
> it could be used for this same purpose, it may just confuse things as 
> we'd likely end up with classes that didn't affect display.

That's fine, however there is already a 'role' attribute defined for

So do you want to define @role more generally, to apply to other
elements?  If so, what is the use-case?  Isn't that use-case
presentational?  If presentational, why not use class?


> Having said that, not using it may duplicate information.
> What do you think?
> Ross

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