Book metadata has many commonalities with other metadata standards, in particular those for addressing persons and places. The OASIS xNAL Standard (extensible Name and Address Language) was selected to represent close mappings from the DITA bookmap metadata content model to an existing standard.
The OASIS CIQ standard for global customer information management contains the definition of the OASIS extensible Name and Address Language (xNAL) metadata elements. Version 2 of the standard states:
The objective of xNAL is to describe a common structure for Personal/Organization Names and Addresses that would enable any applications that want to represent customer names and addresses in a common standard format. The applications could be CRM/e-CRM, Customer Information Systems, Data Quality (Parsing, Matching, Validation, Verification, etc), Customer Data Warehouses, Postal services, etc.
However, any party for its own purposes and applications may use xNAL grammar or parts of it.
The metadata elements defined for bookmap naturally include structures that identify the authors and content owners. Although it was not possible to subset the xNAL standard definitions directly into DITA due to differences between the two processing architectures, OASIS DITA Technical Committee members determined that there was value in having at least a transformational equivalence between bookmap and xNAL definitions for names and addresses. This equivalence enables XML-aware tools in workflow systems to capture and manipulate DITA bookmap names and addresses in a standard way.
For DITA 1.1, the xNAL domain is part of the bookmap specialization. This means that the xNAL elements appear any place that bookmap allows the <author> element - within bookmeta and topicmeta.
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OASIS DITA Version 1.1 Architectural Specification -- OASIS Standard, 1 August 2007
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