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Subject: RE: [dita-adoption] Groups - Tools_and_DITA-awareness_2.dita uploaded

Hi everyone,

FYI for those of you not on the DITA TC: I forwarded Tony's email below to the DITA TC and we had some discussion on whether we should make the conformance statement stronger, but we didn't get anywhere. There is no definitive list of DITA features, and the TC does not have time to create one in the near future.

I think Tony's idea of a template for vendors to explain their support for vendors is a very good one. Tony, do you have a draft of this template that we could start with?

Just a thought to throw out there: It might be easier for us to write a template aimed only at distinguishing the set of useful DITA tools from the set of DITA-wannabe ones such as the example below. This should be easier than getting to agreement on a template that differentiates the useful DITA tools from each other. 


Su-Laine Yeo
Solutions Consultant 
JustSystems Canada, Inc.
Office: 778-327-6356 
XMetaL Community Forums: http://forums.xmetal.com/

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Self [mailto:tself@hyperwrite.com] 
Sent: Sunday, February 21, 2010 4:46 PM
To: dita-adoption@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: [dita-adoption] Groups - Tools_and_DITA-awareness_2.dita uploaded

Hi everyone

I think the "Tools and DITA Awareness" document needs to be expanded into a larger whitepaper initially, and then morphed into a compliance guide and template for vendors.

From my reading of the conformance topic in the spec itself, it seems a vendor can claim DITA conformance by writing their own conformance statement. There's no template for such a statement. One requirement of such a statement is that it lists the DITA features that the tool supports, but I couldn't find a definitive list of DITA features. If that's the case, then one vendor might claim "re-use" as a supported DITA feature, while another might claim "topicref" as a supported DITA feature. How does a bewildered new DITA adopter compare these tools?

The purpose of a "Tools and DITA Awareness" document should be to help DITA adopters work out which tools support the DITA features they wish to take advantage of. This is rightly in the domain of the DITA Adoption TC, rather than the DITA TC. I would like to see claims eventually being auditable, or confirmed by a third-party compliance body.

Examples of the problem can easily be found. There is a technical authoring tool that uses a proprietary data storage format that claims to "publish" to XML outputs including "OASIS compliant DITA". It turns out that out-of-the-box you can probably publish some topics to "topic" information types with lots of "required-cleanup" blocks. Technically, that's "OASIS compliant DITA", but practically, it's meaningless. The way I look at it, that tool is not a DITA processor at all. (By the way, some confused participants in the WritePoint DITA Challenges Survey listed that tool as a DITA tool, and identified themselves as DITA adopters.) If vendors can devise their own compliance statements, those statements will end up reading like marketing blurbs, and obfuscate the information most important to the end user.

I am sure that many vendors would welcome a standardised DITA compliance system, because tools that are genuinely DITA aware and DITA compliant need to be distinguished from those that only claim to be.

(Hope this isn't controversial!)

Tony Self

-----Original Message-----
From: su-laine.yeo@justsystems.com [mailto:su-laine.yeo@justsystems.com] 
Sent: Saturday, 20 February 2010 11:02 AM
To: dita-adoption@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [dita-adoption] Groups - Tools_and_DITA-awareness_2.dita uploaded

The document named Tools_and_DITA-awareness_2.dita has been submitted by
Su-Laine Yeo to the OASIS DITA Adoption TC document repository.

Document Description:
This document describes the concepts of DITA-awareness and
specialization-awareness, and explains how these concepts apply to

This was originally written for the introduction for the DITA
Specification, however the DITA TC decided it was more appropriate for the
DITA Adoption TC. An earlier draft and review comments from the DITA TC are
shown here: http://wiki.oasis-open.org/dita/ToolsDITAawareness

View Document Details:

Download Document:  

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