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Subject: Re: [dita] Re: Comparison between DITA and S1000D

Tsao, Scott wrote:

> As John said: "Modeling all of the details of S1000D with DITA topic and
> domain specializations would be a 
> large task," are you suggesting that one could potentially reap the
> benefits of the second without doing
> the first?
> Am I interpreting your comments correctly?

Yes. One could get all the benefits of a generic and powerful 
specialization mechanism independent of the DITA vocabulary.

S1000D stands as typical example of many existing XML applications that 
are both closely adapted to a particular task (e.g., aircraft 
maintenance) and that reflect a long history of development and practice 
that has informed the details of the application: element type and 
attribute names, content model patterns, linking constructs, and so on. 
In addition, it almost certainly has a large body of supporting 
infrastructure tightly bound to those names. Because all of this work 
was done before DITA was widely known it is highly likely that many 
aspects of the application will not be directly consistent with the DITA 

Thus while it is almost certainly the case that S1000D could be replaced 
with an equivalent DITA-based application, largely because all technical 
documentation is essentially the same. But whether it would actually be 
of advantage to the S1000D community to do so is an open question.

But it is also clear that *every* community of non-trivial size that 
tries to do XML-based interchange needs a specialization mechanism 
exactly like the one DITA defines. Therefore it is almost certainly the 
case that *every XML application currently in use* would benefit from 
adding a means to do controlled specialization. Therefore it is almost 
certainly the case that the S1000D application (and more importantly, 
the community of S1000D users) would benefit from being able to do 
controlled specialization.

One way to look at this is:

1. What is the likelihood that S1000D data would need to be interchanged 
or processed outside of an S1000D context but within a DITA-based context?

2. In the case that such interchange is required, is doing an 
S1000D-to-DITA transform sufficient? If the interchange is does not 
involve feedback (no round tripping required) then transform-based 
interchange is indicated because it is clearly much cheaper to implement 
a transform than to re-engineer an entire community. If the interchange 
requires round tripping, then the cost of doing transform-based round 
tripping must be evaluated against the cost of retrofitting the S1000D 
community to a DITA-based S1000D.



W. Eliot Kimber
Professional Services
Innodata Isogen
9390 Research Blvd, #410
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 372-8122


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