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DTD Question - indexterm element

punyanjan <psen@...>
 

Hi,

During the process of structuring our existing content to DITA, I
noticed that the <indexterm> element cannot be inserted within the
following elements:

<title>
<dt>
<term>

Is there a reason why an indexterm cannot be used to mark content in
these elements?

Thanks,
Puny Sen

Don R. Day <dond@...>
 

--- In dita-users@..., "punyanjan" <psen@a...> wrote:
During the process of structuring our existing content to DITA, I
noticed that the <indexterm> element cannot be inserted within the
following elements:

<title>
<dt>
<term>

Is there a reason why an indexterm cannot be used to mark content in
these elements?
I went back to the original design discussions about indexing, Puny.
The designers assumed that certain elements in DITA were implicitly
indexible, meaning that a processing system could treat their
occurrance in data just as if they had been explicitly indexed
separately. Well, it turns out that explicit indexing still offers a
greater level of specificity and design than can be met by indexing
things implicitly. Your question underscores that fact!

I agree that introducing <indexterm> to the content models for <title>
and <dt> is a good idea. However <term> is a different matter, in
part because its content model ought to stay restricted to term-like
content, and in part because it is usually used in contexts where
indexing in context is available. I will suggest the first two
content model updates to the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, which now
owns the change process for the DITA DTDs and Schemas.

In the meantime, here are some best practices for applying indexing
for these elements. For topic titles, put your indexterms into the
metadata for the topic (topic/prolog/metadata/keywords/indexterm*).
In processing, these apply to the whole topic, which presumably would
be true of any indexing done directly on the title of the topic. For
section titles, put the indexterms in the associated section adjacent
to the title, as indexterms are allowable both before and after a
section title. For titles in the fig element, place indexterms as
close as possible in the discourse surrounding the figure, and for
titles in tables, consider placing relevant indexterms in the first
cell of the table. These locations will all result in links or page
numbers that will resolve very close to, if not right on, the content
you intended to represent.

I hope this information helps!

--
Don Day
IBM Lead DITA Architect
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee