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Subject: Forwarded comment for DITA 1.1 - 2


I recommend you remove any reference to ditaval and "profiling" from
the 1.1 definitions.  That's implementation stuff, not relevant to a
standard definition.

I also recommend you strike mention of "conditional processing" from
the arch. spec.  *All* processing is conditional.  A language spec
should not be a tutorial on filtering or other processing - you can
assume the audience understands that stuff.  Labeling one subset of
attributes as "conditional" - sounds to me like it reflects the
language of the dita-ot implementers; not necessarily wrong or bad,
but it shouldn't be in a language definition.

In fact I would strike chapter 4 in toto and redistribute its contents
elsewhere.  A chapter on metadata might be a good replacement;
attributes like "platform" and "audience" are just metadata.  The spec
should not make unenforceable stipulations regarding how dita docs
should be used in general nor how such attributes should be processed
specifically.  In my view the spec should simply state the intended
semantics as concisely as possible, no more and no less.

By the same token, I don't see any problem with publishing a
non-normative Guide that sums up common practices and explains how
DITA was designed to suit those practices.  But the Standard doc
itself should be minimal.  As it stands now, the Arch. spec is a mix
of user guide, language definition, and tutorial.  Don't get me wrong,
it's not bad now, but I think it could be better.  You could probably
fully and precisely define the Arch. in less than ten pages.  Not only
would that make for a more useful spec. document, I think it would
lead to a better "Guide to DITA" document.


Gregg Reynolds

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Eric A. Sirois
Staff Software Developer
DB2 Universal Database - Information Development
DITA Migration and Tools Development
IBM Canada Ltd. - Toronto Software Lab
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