Reply to: How do you use <prereq> in web help?January 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm
This quote comes from the DITA Language Specification 1.1, which we include verbatim as part of our documentation so that you can access it easily for reference when working on DITA documents in XMetaL.
This documentation (maintained by the DITA TC at OASIS) contains guidance on proper or suggested usage for elements. In some cases it also makes statements about how particular elements and attributes should affect output, but it was not written to describe the proper functioning of the DITA Open Toolkit (ie: it is an input into how the DITA OT is created, not written to describe what the DITA OT actually does).
The DITA OT is developed separately from this documentation as an open source project (hosted currently at SourceForge). I think that is where the disconnect is in this particular case. In most cases the DITA OT has implemented features following these recommendations but in some cases it may not have (either the implementation is incomplete or might be buggy). There are other solutions for generating output from DITA content and they will probably follow this documentation to a similar degree but implement things in different ways as well (see: [url=http://www.xmlmind.com/ditac/]ditac[/url]).
If you feel that the output is not correct (for any element or a particular set of documents) you can check on the status of existing feature requests and bugs (and file new ones) here: http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=132728