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Subject: Re: [chairs] What can Standards Development / TC Administration do to help?

Great point Jamie! 

Ken Holman has done an amazing job with the DocBook environment - it's been through several iterations now - and it's almost foolproof. I'm hoping that the DITA environment JoAnn and Don have mentioned will create the same end result - eliminating many of the things that cause problems. It's not just the checking that's quicker, but using the DocBook environment makes it much harder to mess up.

I think the key thing here is that unless a significant percentage of TCs would be taking advantage of it by authoring in a content and structure-based, rather than formatting-based, structured markup language, the development costs can't be justified.


On Apr 22, 2010, at 5:25 PM, James Bryce Clark wrote:

> Hi, all.  Mary, that's a *great* question that started off this thread.
> I have to agree with Rob W. about mandating a single file format at
> first.   OASIS spec formats are too diverse, today.
> The last time we discussed that in detail, a few years ago, the
> perceived problem wasn't the availability of transforms.   It was
> tooling.   Name a widely-available tool that (a) lots of
> non-software-expert editors readily can use, and (b) outputs in all of
> the alternative formats that a TC might reasonably want?
> Still, some single designated XML format probably could cover a large
> *share* of cases.
> Instead of a mandate, maybe its accurate use could confer
> preferential review speed, as Rob said.  Or maybe an easier "pass"
> based on parsing tools as Bob F. suggested.
> Imagine a system where your document must survive a human staff parse,
> to start a CS vote;  but you can self-help to first CD, simply by
> passing an automated portal parse.
> Sort of a "Full Mary" at one level and a "Half Mary" at the other?
> Might save some wear and tear on the real Mary & her team.  And speed
> things up.
> Regards Jamie

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