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Subject: Re: [dita] FW: Proposal for a DITA Help subcommittee

Hi Tony and TC,

I would be very interested in joining the work of this committee.

I have written an article recently reviewing the latest proprietary help authoring tools from Adobe, MadCap, AuthorIT, etc.  I speculate on their evolution to XML. The likely path for all vendors suggests that XML for Help should be DITA.

I also have a brief summary of current DITA and Help Authoring options at

In a technical demonstration of converting DITA source files to Help, I have created the Eclipse Help-based DITA Infocenter.

DITA Infocenter reuses the DITA Architectural and Language Specifications (1.0 and 1.1) and the DITA source files for the Open Toolkit User Guide, processing and publishing them as Help.

Finally, just yesterday we have developed lightweight Javascript code to produce simple context-sensitive help (CSH) entry points into the DITA Infocenter. The Javascript code can be preloaded with a search term, then embedded as the CSH link appropriate to a given context.

This also lets us offer a "Search the DITA Infocenter" on our family of DITA support sites. Here the context sensitivity is to retrieve results for the search phrase.  You can find it in the lower right corner of these sites:



On 7/25/07, Tony Self <tself@hyperwrite.com> wrote:
Esteemed DITA TC members  
For your consideration at the TC meeting on Tuesday, July 31, 2007, I propose that the TC officially establish a  Help subcommittee. The below provides the proposal name, goals, deliverables, chair, and initial membership for this proposed subcommittee.

Thank you for your consideration and support. 

Tony Self 
HyperWrite Pty Ltd 
Tel  +61-3-9803-8291
E-mail: tself @  hyperwrite.com

Subcommittee name

"DITA Help  Subcommittee "

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the OASIS DITA Help SC (DHSC) is to:
  • develop a top-level design for authoring of Help systems and user assistance content for implementation using DITA;
  • establish recommendations for the integration of DITA-authored Help systems and software applications using context-sensitivity;
  • remove the obstacles to effective use of DITA for Help systems through the creation of best practice guidelines, cookbooks and worked examples, and to promote the use of DITA for creating Help systems and user assistance content;
  • develop informal support for processing DITA for delivery as Help systems and user assistance;
  • establish guidelines that promote best practices for applying standard DITA approaches to Help systems and user assistance content.
Proposed chair 
   Tony Self HyperWrite Pty Ltd (though open to other nominations or co-chair) 
The deliverables of the DHSC will be: 
  • recommendations to the DITA TC for specification changes to better support Help systems and user assistance content;
  • high-level processing model description that defines the standard use of DITA for Help systems and user assistance content;
  • explanations and guidelines for the use of DITA for Help systems and user assistance content.
Initial membership
The following TC members have expressed interest as initial members in this subcommittee:
1.         Stan Doherty, Sun Microsystems
2.         Deborah Pickett Moldflow Corporation .
3.         Alice Etim, IBM
4.         Robin Sloan, PTC
5.         Seth Park, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
6.         Scott Prentice, Individual
7.         Tony Self  HyperWrite 

Bob Doyle
Editor In Chief, CMS Review - http://www.cmsreview.com
Founder, DITA Users -  http://www.ditausers.org
Former Technology Advisor, CM Pros - http://www.cmprofessionals.org/membership/cm-profiles/bob-doyle
Contributing Editor, EContent Magazine -
President and CEO, skyBuilders - http://www.skybuilders.com
77 Huron Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: +1 617-876-5676   Skype:bobdoyle

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