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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: Selective PDF
Date Sun, 14 Nov 2004 21:58:05 GMT
Sean Wheller wrote:
> On Sunday 14 November 2004 19:39, Ross Gardler wrote:
>>Sean Wheller wrote:
>>>Is it not easier to define an attribute such as "output" and add it to
>>>elements in site.xml and tabs.xml. The values can be on error more of the
>>>following: output="all,ps,rtfpdf,pod"
>>Yes, this is a good idea, this is similar to the meta-data idea but it
>>feels like a more logical place to put it.
>>The only problem I see is that it requires us to specify when we *do*
>>want something, rather than when we *don't*. This is a problem for two
>>reasons, firstly it is more likely that we will want the various output
>>forms (and so we are increasing the typing required in most cases),
>>secondly, it requires us to know in advance what output formats will be
> <element>
> 	Applied to all siblings. No output formats
> </element>

<snip what="other examples"/>

These break backwards computability, something we cannot do (unless 
absolutely necessary). Any solution we implment must be compatable with 
existing behavior. Here you are ignoring what is defined in skinconf.xml 
thus forcing all existing sites to edit both their skinconf.xml files 
and thiir site.xml files.

> I think the level of control far out weighs the overhead of some extra typing.

I'm not sure about that, we have to think of the average user, I should 
really have said something like "we are making the learning curve 
steeper for new users", mentioing the amount of typing was perhaps a bit 
of a red-herring (although still a consideration).

We need to switch focus, rather than specify what we *do* want we simply 
specify what we *don't* want and assume everything else is wanted...

> We may also consider
> <site output="all">
> ...
> </site>
> <site output="pdf">
> <element output="rtf">
> 	Inherit value of parent and do rtf to all siblings
> 	<sibling output="pod"/>
> 	Inherit value of parent and ancestor and do pod
> </element>
> </site>

The <site output="pdf"> portion is already defined in skinconf.xml, that 
is the properties in skinconf should define the default behaviour for 
the site, i.e. what we *do* want. This is working well in a great many 
users sites already so we cannot break it (without good reason).

Now we are back at square one - it is no longer possible to exclude 
certain files from having pdf generated. Is there another way? I think 
there is, if we look at it the other way around - specify what we don't 
want we get:

  <main nooutput="pod">

    <index nooutput="pdf"/>

The above would create all skinconf.xml defined output formats for the 
howto element, but would not create pdf output for the docs index, nor 
would it create pod output for the items in main.

This minimises the learning curve (user doesn't need to do anything 
unless they want to configure things), we maintain backward 
compatability (skinconf.xml still defines the default behaviour) and we 
maintain the flexibility you create in your proposal.


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