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   Re: [xml-dev] Processing instruction guidelines

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Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> Michael Kay wrote:
> >I use processing-instructions as follows, and I'm really not sure in my
> >own mind whether it's a good idea or not.
> >If I want a section of a document to contain a table of contents, I
> >write
> ><?toc?>
> >and if I want it to contain a glossary, I write
> ><?glossary?>
> >
> >These are instructions to the stylesheet to compute the appropriate text
> >and rendition time, so if "processing instructions" are intended as
> >instructions for processing, their use seems appropriate here.
> I think the answer of the XML standard model (which I'm not sure I
> believe) is that the stylesheet you control is where you should put
> the information about where to add the table of contents and the
> glossary. This might necessitate using multiple stylesheets where one
> would suffice with your approach.

I sometimes use a hybrid approach for this sort of thing.
A single processing instruction at the beginning of the document
specifies whether or not you want a table of contents,
separate cover page, index, etc.:

    <?mydtd-latex includetoc='yes' includeindex='no'?>

The stylesheet still decides where to put them; it only
checks the PI to decide whether or not to include them.

The PI target addresses a single process (e.g., hardcopy
generation via LaTeX).  I might want the hardcopy to include
a main table of contents but use different navigation aids for
HTML rendition (say, a "mini-TOC" at the beginning of each
major section):

    <?mydtd-html maintoc='no' minitocs='yes' ?>

So instead of saying "put a table of contents here" with
a <?toc?> PI, I say things like "for hardcopy, put a
table of contents in the usual place".  Works pretty well.

--Joe English



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