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automatic generation of revisionflag attribute,for generation of change bars
- From: "Matt G." <matt_g_ at hotmail dot com>
- To: docbook at lists dot oasis-open dot org
- Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 10:38:42 +0000
- Subject: DOCBOOK: automatic generation of revisionflag attribute,for generation of change bars
Here's the problem:
I want to automatically generate change bars, between two arbitrary versions
of an XML DocBook document, but I have no interest in manual use of the
'revisionflag' attribute. Not only do I regard manual use of 'revisionflag'
as clumsy, I have good reason to rule it out, as an option.
Requiring manual use of 'revisionflag' would be unacceptable, since my
documents are composed of certain common components that get released in
independent documents. Furthermore, some of these components are
automatically generated, making manual use of the 'revisionflag' attribute
To give a more specific example, we release multiple software applications
that depend on a core library to provide a significant portion of their
functionality. We need such documents as the release notes (and other
internal documents) to provide a means of easily discerning any functional
(or implementation, in other docs) changes since the previous release of the
application, including those changes to the core library, which have
accumulated over the period since the previous release of a specific
To determine the types of structural differences I'm interested in
capturing, writing an XML-based diff tool (if one doesn't already exist),
writing XSLT to consume the diff tool output + the document and produce a
temporary (i.e. diff'd) document with the revisionflag attributes properly
set, and use whatever stylesheets are most appropriate for rendering the
Does anyone see any problems with the above proposal (other than the
challenges of writing a tree-based diff tool that produces output suitable
for an XSLT stylesheet to properly set the 'revisionflag' attributes)? Does
anyone have a simpler suggestion that'd still meet my requirements? Is
anyone aware of some subset of this solution that's already been
implemented, besides the output stylesheets?
BTW, if a suitable one doesn't already exist, I plan to limit the cases my
xmldiff tool handles, in order to simplify the implementation and improve
the computational characteristics of the problem. Also, making it DTD-aware
would increase the implementation complexity, but significantly reduce the
Also, I regard it as a testament to the power of XML that my proposed
solution is not only possible, but as generally applicable to similar sorts
of problems as it is. Common syntax for specifying the structure of data
truly is a wonderful idea, and one of the biggest step forward, in
computing, since standardized encoding of character data.
Thanks, in advance, for any help.
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