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Subject: How to Influence the CommonMark Standard [Was: Fw: Re: Could I Get in Contact with Someone in Technical Documentation Team?]

As you will see below, the contact I made at GitHub ended up being a washout. But, she did end up pointing me to the CommonMark forum where changes/additions can be suggested; more specifically: https://talk.commonmark.org/.

They are currently aiming for a 1.0 release of CommonMark, so it may be too late to get anything DITA-like into that. But if the committee is willing, I think we should consider putting forward some DITA-compatible suggestions for the standard. Thoughts?




Keith Schengili-Roberts
Market Researcher and DITA Evangelist
825 Querbes, Suite 200, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H2V 3X1
tel  + 1 514 279-4942  /  toll free + 1 877 279-4942 

From: Shawna Jean (GitHub Staff) <support@github.com>
Sent: August 8, 2018 7:59 PM
To: Keith Schengili-Roberts; Keith Schengili-Roberts
Subject: Re: Re: Could I Get in Contact with Someone in Technical Documentation Team?

Hey Keith,

Thanks for following up about this. We don't have any current plans to extend GFM's spec further than where it is, but if the CommonMark community decides to include these features we'll likely update our CommonMark core to include those new features on GitHub and in GFM.

The best way to reach out to the CommonMark maintainers would be via the resources on their webpage:


I hope this helps!


My apologies for not getting back sooner! I got caught up in a product release that ended up eating a lot of my time.
I have been talking to my OASIS colleagues about our brief email exchange, and in a nutshell, some of the features DITA could potentially bring to CommonMark include:- ability to add keys, which function as a type of variable for handling short text strings- utilize "content references" ("conref" for short) for reusing longer inline or blocks of text- can reference multimedia files- separate document structure (map) and content structure (topic) files
One of the aims of Lightweight DITA is to make it platform independent, so there is a Markdown version (called "MDITA") which is currently based on GitHub-flavoured Markdown. Many companies that are using "full" DITA--particularly those in the software sector--are also using Markdown, and MDITA is one way for people to use DITA capabilities within a Markdown framework. There is an associated tool called the DITA Open Toolkit which can take MDITA content and produce PDF/HTML/WebHelkp output. 
For more info on LwDITA, we have an official Committee Note at: http://docs.oasis-open.org/dita/LwDITA/v1.0/LwDITA-v1.0.html. The MDITA-specific material can be found at: http://docs.oasis-open.org/dita/LwDITA/v1.0/cn01/LwDITA-v1.0-cn01.html#what-is-mdita. 

There are several aspects of MDITA where we have to resort to using HTML5 constructs because the equivalent doesn't exist natively in Markdown. So we are wondering whether the folks behind the GitHub or CommonMark spec might be interested in talks to possibly include some DITA aspects into these flavours of Markdown?

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