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

Hi everyone,

I apologize if I'm shoving a monkey-wrench into this, but... Instead of approaching this from a DITA feature point of view - which runs the risk, we see, of vendors focusing on technical aspects of DITA that new or potential adaptors may have little knowledge or vocabulary to relate to properly - perhaps we can focus on a goal oriented approach to this. Meaning: what do DITA adaptors need to be able to accomplish with DITA, and how do specific tools enable them to achieve those goals while conforming to the DITA standard and best practices?

What do information developers need in order to develop and maintain topic-based information successfully using DITA?

Here are some examples I came up with but I'm sure we can come up with many others that would be representative of a DITA implementation - and perhaps we can rank them by "required for a basic DITA implementation" through "helpful to maximize a DITA implementation according to the highest level of the DITA maturity model":

1. Author XML content that conforms to DITA specialized for my own needs, and which allows me to reuse other DITA content and media

2. Assemble and organize topics into any number of maps and relationships

3. Accomplish content reuse by easily and consistently conditionalizing content using a common model

4. Accomplish better accessibility to content by easily and consistently applying metadata using a common model

5. Easily publish to multiple outputs in multiple languages meeting highly personalized formatting requirements that conform to corporate branding guidelines

6. Maximize content reuse by intelligently controlling change

7. Know where topics and media are used and reused

8. Know how topics and media are related and referenced

9. Freely organize information in a repository by moving and renaming files without breaking links

Thoughts welcome...


Joe Gelb
President, Suite Solutions
Member, OASIS DITA Adoption Committee
Telephone: +972-2-993-8054
Fax: +972-50-896-4438
U.S. Telephone: 609-360-0650

-----Original Message-----

From: Su-Laine Yeo [mailto:su-laine.yeo@justsystems.com]

Sent: Monday, March 22, 2010 9:22 PM

To: tself@hyperwrite.com; dita-adoption@lists.oasis-open.org

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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