Re: Single source presentation
For those who have been following the single source debates, here's a site===================================================
you may want to visit:
Click on the link "Micro Document Architectures (MDOC) A new concept beyond
full-text & Document management systems". Ignore the foreign wording on the
index page; the presentation is in English. It's from an SGML conference in
1997, but it's highly applicable to today's discussions, too.
The presentation points out that documentation thinking has come in waves.
First was text-based, which began with web clay tablets. Then came
hypertext, of which HTML is probably the last somewhat pure example: no
internal structure, just text and links. Last is true structured
documentation including, in this presentation, "micro-documents" that merge
to create new ones.
If you're going to remain in one of the first two waves, it's probably best
to at least know and acknowledge that you are.
The referenced link describes a microstructure architectural approach.
I call these microstructures Minimum Reusable Units (MRUs) and
Minimum Deliverable Units (MDUs), which are made up of "Sections," and/or
"Chunks," whose children are "Attachment Spines," "Molecules," and "Atoms."
DESCRIPTION OF THE MICROSTRUCTURE
1. Chunks and Sections are titled (and optionally numbered)
pieces of a document. Sections are usually made up of chunks,
although that is not required. If Sections are not used, then
Chunks are treated as though they were Sections
2. Attachment Spines are analogous to a ship's keel. They provide
a way to attach an olio of contiguous Molecules and/or Atoms
under a titled Chunk or Section. Attachment Spines for Sections
also provide for the attachment of Chunks, as well as Atoms
and Molecules. The content models (i.e., structure rules)
for Attachment Spines do not define a rigid structure. That is,
they will accept any number of instances of lower-level
components intermixed in any sequence or combination.
3. Molecules are mini-microstructures containing atoms, They include:
+ Figures, consisting of a graphic and a caption,
+ Lists, consisting of list items,
+ Text structures consisting of one or more contiguous text paragraphs,
+ Tables, made up table cells, table rows, table headings, and table footings,
+ And so on.
In some cases, a molecule can contain other molecules as well as atoms.
Molecules are simply a higher level of document objects than Atoms.
Molecules generally have fairly rigid content models (i.e., structure rules),
because they specify how Atoms are assembled to form a particular
kind of molecular structure. That does not preclude, however, that
some Atoms may be optional, or the sequence of the Atoms may
be variable (e.g., a figure caption might to before or after the graphic).
4. Atoms are low-level document objects such as graphics, table
cells, table rows, table footings, table headings, document titles,
section titles, text paragraphs of various types, text ranges (i.e., strings)
of various types within paragraphs, list items, captions, etc.
One or more Chunks or Sections (or a subset of contiguous
components attached to an attachment spine) are made into
an MRU or MDU by means of "Encapsulation Wrappers" that
provide metadata enrichment, in the form of attributes and/or RDFs
(Reference Description Frameworks). The enriched metadata
provide the information necessary for conducting highly targeted
searches, as well as the information required for MDU/MRU
management, revision tracking, and similar activities.
The purpose of MDUs is to encapsulate the lowest level
of contiguous component grouping that is deliverable to an end
user. The purpose of MRUs is to encapsulate component
groupings that are candidates for information reuse.
Many different Encapsulation Wrappers might be utilized,
where each such container element is used for a particular
information type and/or purpose.
The content models (i.e., structure rules) for most MRU-type
encapsulation wrappers do not define a rigid structure.
That is, they will accept any number of instances
of any lower-level components intermixed in any sequence or
combination. MDU-type encapsulation wrappers usually have
more rigid structures that specify any number of contiguous
Chunks or Sections, including all of their attachment-spine-
WHAT KIND OF DTD DOES THIS TYPE OF STRUCTURE
1. A single DTD can easily define a multiplicity of document types,
because all types share the same set of generic Atoms,
Molecules, and Attachment Spines.
2. Structural variations for different document types emerge at
the MDU-type Encapsulation Wrapper levels. Special types of
Molecules may also be defined for inclusion in particular
3. Since all MDU-type Encapsulation Wrappers can be specified
in the DTD as being valid at the highest level, they are valid
when delivered independently, and are also valid when
they are delivered as part of a whole document.
4. Because all document types share the same set of
generic Atoms and Molecules, an MRU originally contained in
one document type can be reused in any other document
5. The DTD is easily extensible, permitting the addition of
new document types simply by defining only the top-level
structure, including new Encapsulation Wrappers and
(perhaps) new Special Molecules.
6. DTDs of this type are ideally suited for use in a single-sourcing
XML environment, where XSL transformations are used to convert
from one document type to another.
For more information about the approach described above, go to:
Click on the Resources Link, scroll down to
Dan Emory's Articles, and click on:
FrameMaker+SGML Information Design (an
Acrobat 3.0 PDF file)
| Nullius in Verba |
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory -at- primenet -dot- com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646
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