OK- so in my last entry I described how the XML gets spelled out for the list. I also mentioned that w:lvlrestart is actually in the style definition. It is not used in the list definition itself. So, if you have a numbered list and you create a second numbered list and you do not want the numbers to continue, you just start a new list. It's pretty straight-forward.
So, what is the w:lvlrestart really all about?
Here's the deal. Check out the dialog in Word 2003 "Customize Outline Numbered List" which you get to by customizing your list style (Format | Bullets and Numbering | Outline Numbered | Customize).
Now, you will see a checkbox for "Restart numbering after:" and it shows a level. This is the important thing: if you do not have this specified, your list levels, as you tab through, do not restart their numbering. IOW: you end with a list at different levels numbered 1-9 or however many levels you have. You don't usually want this, so you tell Word to do 1, then 1.1, then 1.1.1 and not 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. as you go down levels. The w:lvlrestart element pertains to this level numbering restart, not the restarting of your lists in the doc as I described earlier.
What is particularly troubling is that we don't really document this that well, either for the end-user or for the developer. I even had a little trouble sorting it all out. Part of this problem is that I am a better dev than I am an end-user. I know how to do some things in code that I have never done in the UI. I am guessing I am not alone.
Rock Thought for the day: I am reading this great book: Tales of a Scorched Earth by Amy Hanson. It is a better than usual rock biography about the Smashing Pumpkins. I like her writing style. It's engaging and thoughtful. I do not mind her attempts to explain a whole generation of people even though it suffers from over-simplification. She at least over-simplifies in way that is interesting. If you thought you knew the Alternative scene as it unfolded in the 90's, yo may re-think some of your assumptions as you read this book. I wish it had more about the musical affinities and how they weave a tapestry of a movement. I am guessing Amy is not a musician, although she does try hard to bring the musical aspect to bear quite well. All in all, it's a solid book and well worth reading.