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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: Allow "role" attribute in document DTD
Date Sat, 27 Dec 2003 13:55:59 GMT
>>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
> <link>.

Yes, I forgot that, sorry, been a long time since I started using that, 
so my example was a very poor one, perhaps below will be better.

> So do you want to define @role more generally, to apply to other
> elements?  If so, what is the use-case?  

At present the only plac my use case needs it is in the section element, 
but perhaps more general would be useful.

Now that you are forcing me into explaining the use case I am becoming 
more convinced that you are right and this is in fact a class. However, 
I also introduced another attribute recently. This one was origianlly 
"level" as in level of detail (I use Forrest to deliver course support 
materials). However, I have recently decided this should be part of the 
role attribute.

Basically, I tag some parts as being "BSc", "MSc", "MBA" etc. Other 
parts are tagged as course focus, for example case studies have roles 
such as "ECommerce_Analysis" or "MBA_Anaysis". I then use these to 
select which part of the document should be displayed. So if I have an 
MBA student veiwing the page they get the "BSc" + "MBA" content of 
general pages and the "MBA_Analysis" of case studies.

Since much of the content is shared I do not want to split it into 
different documents, so I use role to enable me to do that dynamcally.

 > Isn't that use-case
 > presentational?  If presentational, why not use class?

I have to admit I'm a little unsure if this is presentational or not. I 
think of presentation as being *how* it is displayed whereas much of my 
use for the role attribute is *what* is displayed (clearly I use Forrest 
in a dynamic environment).

I have similar use cases with data from electronic sensor devices. The 
engineers get one lot of data, the management another etc.


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