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Subject: Minutes of the 2/15/2012 OASIS SIDSC Meeting

We began the meeting by looking at the vote on the proposal to include the SIDSC specification as a specialization in the DITA 1.3 specification. Bob Beims observed that 12 people voted “yes” and nobody voted “no.” One person spoke of concerns about adding the complexity of SIDSC to DITA. We don’t want DITA to become bloated and die under its own weight. Bloat was what happened to SGML.


Paul Arellanes responded that if the specialization is done correctly, DITA will stay modular so that the tags of a specialization are contained/isolated in that specialization and not thrown in with everything else. As he said, some text editors are better at hiding the specializations you don’t care about.


The rest of the meeting was devoted to disposition of the comments in the shared review PDF of the SIDSC specification. We started with Chapter 2 and worked our way through the benefits section.


In a comment, Annette Baurle asked if the SIDSC specialization helps us produce accurate documentation quickly and efficiently. Bob responded that from the Freescale perspective the answer is absolutely yes. Cheri Mullins said that we need to keep asking this question, every time we make a change. This will prevent bloat.


Annette Baurle’s comment that some companies already have their own means in place to achieve clarity makes a good point. However, it is not actionable.


Cheri will rewrite the benefit about rich semantics. The real benefit of rich semantics is that it makes it easier to identify the purpose of the content, not that it promotes a clear distinction between engineering and ID roles. There is much cross-over in the types of information provided by various content providers, regardless of their roles.


Annette Baurle comments that the enhanced search and retrieval options benefit is an inherent benefit of XML, not just SIDSC in particular. We need to clarify this in the rewrite.


In the section on metadata for aligning, the ip-tracking and ip-data attributes and the <component-reference> element have not been added to the SIDSC specification. However, Freescale has tentatively offered to contribute their work on the Design Map File to the SIDSC. AMD has their own solution to the issue of configuring and generating register content at the device level. We need to talk about how we’re doing these same things. We need to have a meeting to demo our respective solutions and discuss them and decide what solution should become a part of the SIDSC spec. The fact that we’ve both had to solve the problem indicates that we should include a solution in the SIDSC specification.




·         Bob Beims will follow up with Nancy Harrison on the proposal to include SIDSC in the DITA 1.3 specification.

·         Bob and Noreen McMahan will set up a review portal before the next regularly-scheduled meeting.

·         Cheri Mullins will make an editorial pass through the SIDSC specification and will act as our committee editor on an on-going basis.

·         Bob will make a pass through the SIDSC specification and wrap all XML mark-up in a <codeph> element.

·         Cheri Mullins will rewrite the entire benefits section of Chapter 2 of the SIDSC specification. She will make a tight connection between the overall benefits of DITA and how the SIDSC specification takes advantage of these benefits and adds to them.

·         Bob will provide a diagram as a clarifying example of the agnosticism of interface benefit. XML, and DITA in particular, promotes connections, regardless of platform and regardless of specialization.

·         Noreen will investigate whether we can make the recording of the demonstration of the Freescale Design Map file available to the AMD participants.

·         Bob Beims will schedule an interim meeting for AMD and Freescale to discuss the issue of configuring and generating register content at the device level. Anyone participating in SIDSC can attend this meeting, though for many attendance will be optional.


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