[Doc-SIG] Representation of Horizontal Rules

Tony J Ibbs (Tibs) tony@lsl.co.uk
Wed, 24 Oct 2001 09:55:45 +0100

David Goodger wrote:
> I'm leaning towards solution #2. Those of you working with the
> document tree, writing code or style sheets, please let me know if
> this will cause problems beyond minor revisions.]

Hmm. OK, I can't see that adding "division" as yet another structure
within the document would cause me *problems*, but...

I'll reinsert the quote from the Chicago Manual of Style again, 'cos it
seems to be David's inspiration (or, at least, support in his argument):

    Instead of subheads, extra space or a type ornament between
    paragraphs may be used to mark text divisions or to signal
    changes in subject or emphasis.

However, personally I would lean strongly to option 3. This is mainly
because I "see" such an ornament as a typographic element, more than a
structural element - a sort of "gross elipsis", a giant semicolon, a
pause in the flow of the text (which I take to be the meaning of the
second alternative in the Chicago Manual's description).

David says:
> A transition isn't a thing itself

and I think it's there that we disagree!

*But* I clearly see that David's argument is supported by the "instead
of subheads" clause, and if he (as our benevolent designer(!)) finds
that this pushes towards option 2, then I shan't cavil too much.

> 2. Treating "divisions" uniformly brings us to the second
>    possibility::
>        <document>
>            <section name="document">
>                <title>
>                    Document
>                <division>
>                    <paragraph>
>                        Paragraph
>                <division>
>                    <paragraph>
>                        Paragraph
>    With this change, documents and sections will directly contain
>    divisions and sections, but not body elements. Only divisions will
>    directly contain body elements. Even without a horizontal rule
>    anywhere, the body elements of a document or section would be
>    contained within a division element. This makes the document tree
>    deeper. This is similar to the way HTML treats document contents:
>    grouped within a <BODY> element.

There's an advantage in this for me, in fact. I want to be able to
indicate that a paragraph *after* a title is special (specifically, when
doing the title for package, module and class sections). Being able to
enclose such a paragraph (or paragraphs) within a division [1]_ makes it
*much* easier to do what I want, and without having to add any new
classes to the DPS node tree. So although I may object (slightly) to the
proposal on the grounds David wants it, I do like the idea for subtly
different reasons.

.. [1] For my purposes, I *think* all elements will be sprouting
   the optional presence of a "style" (or some such) attribute,
   making it easier to indicate (for instance) that this division
   is being used for "detail" about the module, etc. But more on
   this if/when it happens...


Tony J Ibbs (Tibs)      http://www.tibsnjoan.co.uk/
Give a pedant an inch and they'll take 25.4mm
(once they've established you're talking a post-1959 inch, of course)
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