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Subject: Re: [dita-lightweight-dita] Promised rewrite

Michael, have you seen working draft #14? It contains a rewrite.


Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting
+1 919 682-2290; kriseberlein (skype)

On 5/29/2017 10:29 AM, Michael Priestley wrote:
I think there's still a paragraph or two needed to really focus on the why, rather than the what and how - maybe something like:

Why Lightweight DITA?

1 Full DITA seen as too complex for some scenarios

DITA is a mature architecture with a deep set of features supported by a broad range of tools. This same maturity can be intimidating for those considering adoption, especially for simple scenarios. While lightweight versions of DITA exist, they are primarily vendor-developed - a standardized lightweight entry point allows the DITA community to offer a common starting point for simple DITA scenarios that remains fully compatible with full DITA solutions.

2 XML not accepted as an authoring platform by some communities

Some authoring communities have strong ties to specific authoring formats, such as Markdown. While these alternative formats do not always have the same expressiveness as XML, they bring with them a set of tools and practices that can be a natural fit with a DITA ecosystem, if we can define a lower-function level of interchange. Lightweight DITA can provide this mapping, and become the first version of DITA to be truly cross-format - allowing authoring and delivery in a mix of native formats all mapped to a common semantic standard.

How we approached the problem

We identified some key authoring communities that were interested in the benefits that Lightweight DITA could provide, and mapped out some scenarios including cross-format authoring and reuse. Lightweight DITA represents the common denomenator for functionality needed by interested parties in the following authoring communities: learning and training, SME-authored software documentation, and marketing content.

Michael Priestley, Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM)
Enterprise Content Technology Strategist

From:        Carlos Evia <cevia@vt.edu>
To:        Kristen James Eberlein <kris@eberleinconsulting.com>
Cc:        "dita-lightweight-dita@lists.oasis-open.org" <dita-lightweight-dita@lists.oasis-open.org>
Date:        05/22/2017 10:59 AM
Subject:        Re: [dita-lightweight-dita] Promised rewrite
Sent by:        <dita-lightweight-dita@lists.oasis-open.org>

I like it very much. I think we should at to the core goals a list item talking about content sharing and collaboration across formats, shouldn't we?
And should we have a disclaimer about specialization in the second bulleted list?


Carlos Evia, Ph.D.
Director of Professional and Technical Writing
Associate Professor of Technical Communication
Department of English
Center for Human-Computer Interaction
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0112

On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 10:24 AM, Kristen James Eberlein <kris@eberleinconsulting.com> wrote:
Some comments interspersed ... Please note the paragraph and list highlighted in blue. This is what we need to agree on, flesh out, and ensure that drive though the document,

2 Why Lightweight DITA?

LwDITA is a proposed specification for expressing simplified DITA documents in XML, HTML5, and Markdown.

The core goals of LwDITA are the following:

  • Provide a simpler DITA experience
  • Provide representations of LwDITA in XML, HTML5, and Markdown that enable individuals to author content in whatever representation is their preference
  • Enable the growth of new tools and applications that support LwDITA
LwDITA offers the core features in the DITA standard:
  • Semantic tagging
  • Topic orientation
  • Content reuse
  • Conditional publishing
  • Specialization
However, LwDITA deliberately limits itself to generic structures that are highly applicable across many industries. This results in a much smaller standard in terms of elements, attributes, and complexity.

This pragmatic design has benefits for both small and large projects, as well as new and existing DITA implementations. The learning curve for LwDITA will be shorter. Implementing LwDITA might involve less change management and so lower costs. The ability for engineers to author in Markdown, marketing writers in HTML5, and technical authors in DITA will enable collaboration across divisional silos.

Of course, LwDITA users who decide that they need a richer set of features and functionality for their content can easily transition to full DITA.


Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting

+1 919 682-2290; kriseberlein (skype)

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