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Subject: RE: [chairs] Re: A hosted solution for specification editing?

I remember when many said that xml would solve all our semantic woes, with “self-describing documents”.


The problem is not the toolkit – it is using and conforming to the spec. blueprints.

-          If a spec is drafted in ODF or Word, how difficult is it to assess whether the required sections are present? Some minimal tooling should be able to do this, whatever tool/schema is used;

-          If there is a QA and subjective assessment to be made of the actual content/wording, no amount of tooling will address the problem




From: drummond.reed@gmail.com [mailto:drummond.reed@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Drummond Reed
Sent: Fri, 23 April 2010 10:33
To: Michael Priestley
Cc: Mary McRae; chairs@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: Re: [chairs] Re: A hosted solution for specification editing?


+1 to a cloud-based editing solution that supports both browser-based editing (for lightweight interactions) and rich clients for deeper interaction.

It would make enforcing OASIS formatting rules, metadata requirements, etc. much easier. And it would be much easier to transition when those rules evolve.

I also agree with Michael that it should not be a requirement that all browsers be supported, just enough options so that their is a reasonable set of choices across platforms.

"Spec as app". It's a refreshing new way of looking at it.

Co-Chair, OASIS XRI & XDI Technical Committees

On Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 8:59 AM, Michael Priestley <mpriestl@ca.ibm.com> wrote:

Are there platforms on which neither browser is available?

I'm not sure if/when the editor will become available on other platforms, but it seems to me like requiring installation of a specific browser is a lower bar than requiring installation of a custom toolchain. I have to have both installed myself just to deal with the requirements of different web conferencing software.

Michael Priestley, Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM)
Lead IBM DITA Architect


Mary McRae <mary.mcrae@oasis-open.org>


Michael Priestley/Toronto/IBM@IBMCA


"chairs@lists.oasis-open.org" <chairs@lists.oasis-open.org>


04/23/2010 11:49 AM


[chairs] Re: A hosted solution for specification editing?


Hi Michael,

  For starters it appears that the only browsers supported are IE and Firefox.


On Apr 23, 2010, at 11:33 AM, Michael Priestley wrote:

If OASIS provided a web/hosted solution for authoring specifications and producing various outputs, would that solve the problem of custom tooling? Would that be of interest beyond just the DITA TC?

Normal users would edit the content directly, or edit in a word processor and then copy/paste into the editor. The editor would enforce common structural requirements and prevent inconsistent formatting. Expert users could take the content offline and work in the XML editor of their choice.

That would give us the strengths of an XML tool chain for managing reuse, creating multiple formats, providing structural and presentational consistency. But without the weaknesses of an XML tool chain in requiring expert authors, custom tool installations, or extensive training.

The question is not meant to be hypothetical - the technology exists today and is being used in similar scenarios. But we can't use it with OASIS unless they host it - otherwise we'd be storing and working with content outside of OASIS, which would break the rules. I'm willing to investigate whether we could work with OASIS to make this available for spec development, if there's broad enough interest.

For a sense of the editing interface, you can take a look at an editor vendor's demo here:

This is preliminary support, so it's slow to load a topic the first time you open one with a specific type. You can add elements using the [+] dropdown.

Michael Priestley, Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM)
Lead IBM DITA Architect


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