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As an extension of what Michele said, it can also be useful for links 
from external documents when you want to link to a specific place in a 
finding aid.  For instance, if you always set your <dsc> ID attribute as 
"a23" and have your stylesheet set it as a named anchor, then you can 
always link directly to that portion of your finding aid from another 
document or finding aid:  http://yourserver/mydoc.html#a23

Setting these ahead of time saves you the trouble of having to update 
your finding aid when you what to generate such a link.

Mark


Michele Rothenberger wrote:
> Hi John --
> 
> It is true that setting ID attributes is not necessary in order for the
> style sheets to automatically create the table of contents, as the
> paragraph you quote says.  
> 
> However, if you're using ref or extref elements for any other kinds of
> links that you put in the finding aid yourself (such as "see" or "see
> also" references), relying on IDs generated by the style sheet is risky
> since the generated IDs are not fixed and can change if material is
> added or removed (not to mention the fact that you don't know the ID
> until after you've applied the style sheet!)
> 
> At the moment we're only entering occasional IDs as we need them for
> ref and extref targets, and we are adding them manually to the source
> XML so they are permanently fixed.
> 
> Michele
> 
> -=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-
> Michele R. Combs
> Manuscripts Processor
> Special Collections Research Center
> Syracuse University Library
> 222 Waverly Avenue
> Syracuse, NY 13244
> (315) 443-2697
> -=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-
> 
>>>> [log in to unmask] 11/9/2006 4:54 PM >>>
> I'd like to know if people are still entering values for ID attributes
> for 
> locations in finding aids other than the Container List or if most of
> these 
> ID attribute values are now being generated by stylesheets.  Based on
> the 
> statement in the EAD Cookbook, section 5.3.2 (Table of Contents), it
> would 
> appear that it is no longer necessary to enter ID attributes anywhere
> but 
> locations that require customization.
> 
> "It is not necessary, as it was with the first edition, to add
> prescribed 
> @id attributes to these elements to produce the hyperlinks."
> 
>  Have I interpreted this correctly?
> 
> 
> John Bewley
> Music Library
> University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
> 716 645-2924