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Re: PROV-ISSUE-461: provo cross reference inadequate in printed form [PROV-O HTML]

From: Timothy Lebo <lebot@rpi.edu>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2012 14:13:47 -0400
Message-Id: <FB629866-E805-41B8-BF92-F09D63DB993A@rpi.edu>
To: Provenance Working Group <public-prov-wg@w3.org>
Graham describes the problem when trying to zero in on any term in the document.

I'll review the document and add in the section numbering or similar.


When reading a printed copy of the specification, there's no direct way to locate the description of some given term.  This is something I want to do when:

(a) I am using the document as a reference, to check on the precise definition of a particular term whose existence I know about, but whose details I don't recall in detail.

(b) I find a reference to another term that I want to cross-check when reading the document.


For example, I'm looking at the description of prov:hadPlan, and I see it has a range of prov:Plan.  Where is prov:Plan described?
1. Turning to the table of contents (the first thing I'd think to do), there's not much help.
2. I do see PROV-O at a glance there, so I turn to that.
3. I'm faced with 6 separate tables to scan to find the term I desire.
4. After an initial examination, I can reasonably reduce this to 3 tables, as prov:Plan is fairly clearly not a property.
5. I find the term, and see above that this and the other qualified classes are discussed in section 3.3
6. I turn to section 3.3, and scanning this it is not helping me.
7. So it's back to the table of contents, and spot "Cross reference for PROV-O classes and properties.  Great!
8. Now I'm faced with three sections, without clear signposting of which section contains prov:Plan.  From my previous scanning, I'll hazard a guess that it's section 4.3
9. The structure layout of the printed material means that the section headings are several pages apart and relatively hard to spot.  When I find this section, I have over 25 sides of material that I must scan through to find the term I'm looking for.

This example was not contrived.  I just did all that - I picked the starting term at random and tried to find the term it referred to in my printed copy, having not looked at the document for some time, so having no effective memory of its structure.

Here's what I'd like to be able to do, and I think this is feasible and reasonable:

1. Turn to the table of contents; I see prov:Plan listed there with a section number.
2. Now I can skip through the document looking for the section number.  If each cross-referenced term has a section number, there will generally be a couple of sections numbers on each page, so I'll be able to zone in on the target section.

This depends essentially on two things:
(a) each term is described in a numbered section
(b) there is a single table that lists each term and its section number

Does this help to explain the problem I'm trying to describe?


On Jul 23, 2012, at 11:23 AM, Provenance Working Group Issue Tracker <sysbot+tracker@w3.org> wrote:

> PROV-ISSUE-461: provo cross reference inadequate in printed form [PROV-O HTML]
> http://www.w3.org/2011/prov/track/issues/461
> Raised by: Timothy Lebo
> On product: PROV-O HTML
> The cross reference section does not support finding the entry of a particular term when the document is printed.
> Background:
> REOPENED comment in http://www.w3.org/2011/prov/wiki/Review_of_prov-o_july_3_2012_for_last_call#Graham
> and discussions around
> http://www.w3.org/mid/500674D4.2030500@zoo.ox.ac.uk
Received on Friday, 21 September 2012 18:14:15 UTC

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