RE: Managing "comments" in XML documents like any other XML conte nt

Subject: RE: Managing "comments" in XML documents like any other XML conte nt
From: "Nagai, Paul" <pnagai -at- inovant -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 08:06:50 -0800

> But in the spirit of XML, you'd need to create a different comment tag
> for each type of comment you want to store, depending on the purpose of the
> comment.

Or use attributes on the comment tag (author, date, audience, ... the possibilities are endless!).

We use both an element <remarks> and <!-- "regular" comments --> for different purposes. The function of each strategy interacts with our editor, Arbortext Epic. For example, Epic can show/hide <!-- comments --> through the out-of-the-box interface. They can be printed via PrintEditorView but are not PrintComposable. Through the use of a stylesheet (FOSI or XSL) we have much greater control over the behavior and presentation of <remarks> element in Epic (FOSI) or outside (XSL) than we can have with regular comments. We can format, show/hide, change font, color, etc. through the stylesheets.

We haven't implemented this, but I think we will eventually want to support at least an audience attribute on <remarks>. audience=authors would not express the contents of <remarks> in any of the output intended for customers. audience=customer1 would express to customer1, but not customer2. audience=reviewer2 would ...

The biggest risks, I think, are that once you decide content in audience=reviewer2 will only be seen by reviewer2, you must be very sure of your systems. Bugs or failed process the "releases" information incorrectly can potentially be very expensive in actual $, credibility, etc. Second, every degree of complexity raises the training costs, risk, etc. associated with a system. If you have lots of authors and lots of reviewers and lots of customers, the starting and sustaining the proposed system above will be real work.

Paul Nagai



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