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Subject: RE: [dita] DITA 1.2 packages [updated again]

I share the concern that things are getting complex.  (On the other hand, DITA is complex, and not all of that complexity can be spirited away.)
What goes into the OT isn't a question for this OASIS TC.  OASIS has nothing to do with the OT and it shouldn't.  The OT is just one implementation, and it is not under the aegis of OASIS.  If something is important/useful enough to be available for any DITA user, it should be a product of this TC.  If it is not a product of this TC, it is just a private customization, not part of DITA.
I don't know how to solve the problem of the complexity of our many packages, but punting to the OT is not the solution.

From: SeicoDyne DITA [mailto:dita@seicodyne.ch]
Sent: Tuesday, 2008 April 29 4:32
To: 'JoAnn Hackos'; Ogden, Jeff; dita@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: AW: [dita] DITA 1.2 packages [updated again]

Yes indeed, it looks very complex and our goal should be to make DITA more attactive to many user groups.
At the discussion last week I hardly opposed against the idea to combine concept/reference/task and software/ui/programming into one package. As this would neither be a modular design focussed package nor a complete DITA 1.0/1.1 like package. I do not like the idea that we propose (outside of the software industry) to the user: "here are our DITA modules/packages, you just have to combind what you need and then you have to delete what you do not need".
Either we should provide modularized package, which can be combined flexible, or we provide just a full package where the user have to delete what they do not need. But promoting the idea of "here are modularized packages, select what you need" but then not to keep that promise, is not such a good idea.
If we are looking from the convenience view, it is becomming highly difficult. As for most people "convenient" might be defined differently.
Due to that I would like to propose the following:
As the DITA 1.2 Oasis Standard, we should provide the combined (complete) package only.
But in the DITA-OT we should provide two sets:
(there will be better naming, I just had to give them names)
- dita-ot/dtd
(containing the combined package, here a user can find the complete package as he used to find in the DITA 1.0 and DITA 1.1 OT)
- dita-ot/dtd-packages
(a folder comparable with the demo folder, containing additional helpfull content, convenient to intermediate and advanced users.
-- dita-ot/dtd-packages/dtd-welltried
(containing the DITA 1.0 and DITA 1.1 like package, here a user can find all the topics and domains he used to find in DITA 1.0 and DITA 1.1. Not much new to learn)
-- dita-ot/dtd-packages/dtd-modules
(containing all our modularized packages:
/machineIndustry (machineryTask, mitask domain)
/software (software, ui, programming domains)
/techncalContent (concept, reference, task)
with the modularized package a user can select what he/she needs.
Best regards


SeicoDyne GmbH
Eichenstrasse 16
CH-6015 Reussbühl
Tel: +41 41 534 66 97
Mob: +41 78 790 66 97
Skype: seicodyne
Member of the DITA Technical Committee
Chairman of the DITA Machine Industry Subcommittee

Von: JoAnn Hackos [mailto:joann.hackos@comtech-serv.com]
Gesendet: Dienstag, 29. April 2008 00:14
An: Ogden, Jeff; dita@lists.oasis-open.org
Betreff: RE: [dita] DITA 1.2 packages [updated again]

Well, I do think we have too many packages – all of these make the decisions for new users even more confusing than just downloading one package. It won’t be clear to newcomers what they’re getting or not getting if they aren’t already experts and/or consultants. What packages are the editor and CMS vendors going to provide to their customers? How will they implement any or all of them? Aren’t we increasing the cost of entry and discouraging newcomers by making the choices too complex?


Committee members casually talk about creating new local shells but most of the people I know who are implementing DITA aren’t capable of doing any of that. Does the new packaging not require a significantly increased level of expertise to begin than we have had before?


If this packaging was intended to make adoption easier, I feel we’ve gotten far away from that goal. We’re making adoption more complex instead.




JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD
Comtech Services, Inc.
710 Kipling Street, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80215
joannhackos Skype


From: Ogden, Jeff [mailto:jogden@ptc.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 3:58 PM
To: dita@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [dita] DITA 1.2 packages [updated again]


Here is another version of the DITA 1.2 packaging proposal updated based on comments and suggestions received during today’s DITA TC call and subsequent e-mail to the DITA TC list. Changes from the previous draft are highlighted in blue.


I’m sure this will be discussed again on next week’s DITA TC call. And comments and suggestions by e-mail to the list or directly to me (jogden@ptc.com), Robert (robander@us.ibm.com), and Michael (mpriestlo@ca.ibm.com) are welcome.




I.                     Should the Learning and Training topics and ditabase doctype shells include the software, ui, and programming domains?  John thinks they should, but will check with the LTC subcommittee.


This issue is settled until we hear back from the LTC subcommittee.


II.                   Do we want a Learning and Training map doctype shell that is based on bookmap?  John said yes.


This issue is settled, we just need to do the work.


III.                  Is it nuts to include so many variations of Ditabase doctype shells? Do we want a ditabase in each package? Should we leave this up to the sub-committees?


We agreed to include just one ditabase as part of the Technical Content package. If the Learning and Training Content or the Machine Industry sub-committees want ditabases to be included as part of their packages, they can request that. We’ll assume that we don’t want or need the additional ditabases for these two packages unless someone speaks up.


IV.                Should we include the approved Best Practice documents as an informative part of the core package? Should we combine the existing best practice documents into a single document?


We agreed to include the Best Practice documents in the documentation package as individual documents.


V.                  Which map document type shells should include the Delayed Resolution domain? Basic map? Technical Content Map? Bookmap? Leaning Map?


We agreed to include the Delayed Resolution domain in all map doctype shells unless a sub-committee explicitly asks for the domain to be omitted for map doctype shells included in their package. No explicit requests made yet, but its early.


V.                  We have a constrained task doctype shell as part of the Technical Content Package. Do we need to include an unconstrained task?  If so, in which package?  Or is the Machine Industry Task an unconstrained task that can serve this role?


The Technical Content package will include a constrained task doctype shell. The Machine Industry package will include a differently constrained task doctype shell. The DITA 1.2 release will not include a completely unconstrained task doctype shell, but individuals and organizations are free to create one if they wish.


VII.               Notice that the Delayed Resolution domain is included in the core package, that it is not included in any doctype shells.  Is this OK?


This is OK.


VIII.             Notice that the xNAL domain is included in the core package, but it is only included in the Bookmap doctype shell.


We agreed to separate out the documentation for the xNAL package into its own Architecture and Language Reference document, to include this document and other xNAL files in the core package, and to create separate xNAL directories for DTDs and XSDs within the core package.


IX.                 There was a suggestion that we have an additional package that would contain the combined documentation and none of the DTD, XSD, and related files. This is not included in the above proposal, but could be if members of the TC think it would be useful.


We didn’t get to this item during today’s discussion, but while discussing other items the feeling seemed to be that we should have a separate combined documentation package and this would be the place to put the Best Practice documents together with all of the documents from the other packages.


X.                   We will include the DITA source, PDF, and chunked HTML output. Do we want to include HTML Help (chm) and unchunked HTML output as well?


We didn’t talk about this during today’s call, but I suggest that we include PDF output for the documents in each of the packages and that we include the DITA source, PDF, unchunked html, chunked html, and HTML Help output in the documentation package.


XI.                 Are seven or eight packages too many (six individual, one combined, and possibly a combined documentation package)?


We didn’t talk about this during today’s call, but so far at least no one has expressed concerns about the number of packages.


XII.                Questions about how to coordinate Robert’s proposed changes to the organization of the DITA Language Reference documents with the packaging proposal were raised during the 8 April DITA TC call.


I’m no longer sure what the issue was here. Robert is going forward to implement (a prototype) of his suggested approach. I suggest that we came back and revisit this after that work is done.


XIII.              There is a question about the name for what is labeled the “core” package above.  Is “core” OK or would “base”, “common”, or something else be better.


We didn’t talk about this during today’s call. In a e-mail exchange with Robert and Michael I said I didn’t like “common” since we already have common files (common to topics and map) and so having a package named common might lead to “common common files” which would be confusing.  I think we are going with “core” for now.  If someone has strong feelings about this, they should speak up and hopefully offer suggestions for a new/better name.


XIV.             There are questions about the right place to put the xNAL and Hazard Statement domains that we need to sort out.


We talked about this indirectly.  We seem to be leaning toward putting the xNAL and Hazard Statement domains in the core package, but with a separate document to describe xNAL. The xNAL domain will be used from the bookmap doctype shell.  The Hazard Statement domain will be used from several doctype shells in several packages.


XV.              Is Technical Content a good name for item #2 above?  Would Technical Publications be better? Something else?


The view was expressed that Technical Content isn’t a good name. No suggestions for an alternative so far.  Not sure if Technical Publications or TechPubs is better or not. Probably not. We’ll probably stick with Technical Content until someone suggests an alternative.


XVI.             Not sure we have agreement on item xii below.



General comments:


  1. The proposal is to organize the DITA 1.2 specification into a set of six individual
    packages plus a documentation package plus a combined package as outlined below.
  2. All packages include both DTD and XSD doctype shells and modules.
  3. All packages include catalog files (both XML and text).
  4. All packages include PDF output for the documentation specific to that package. The
    documentation package includes DITA source, PDF, chunked HTML
    output, and HTML Help (chm) and unchunked HTML output. The combined package
    includes everything.
  5. Packages will contain a mix of normative and informative (non-normative) materials.
  6. Directories and files will be organized and named so that they can be combined and
     installed into the same directories without conflict.
  7. Except for the documentation and the combined package, individual packages won’t duplicate
    the content from other packages.
  8. The Core Package can be used by itself.
  9. Each of the individual non-core packages requires the Core package and may
    require other packages.
  10. The Core Package plus the Technical Content Package gives what
    is available in DITA 1.1 without bookmap and with the addition of  the Hazard
    Statement domain, the Delayed Resolution domain, and the Basic Topic
    and Basic Map document type shells.
  11. The written specifications, references, and guidelines are being divided into
    smaller independent documents to make them more manageable, to allow
    them to be maintained somewhat independently, to allow readers to
    avoid sections that they may not need or may not be interested in, and to make
    it easier to add more structural and domain specializations in the future.
  12. The DITA TC and eventually OASIS will be asked to approve the specifications,
    DTDs, XSDs, modules, and related files in the combined package.


1)       Core Package


a)       DITA 1.2 Core Architectural Specification (introduction, topic, map, and
metadata markup, processing including delayed resolution,
specialization including constraints).

b)       DITA 1.2 Core Language Reference (map, topic, metadata including
delayed resolution
, map group domain).

c)       DITA 1.2 Utility Domain Specializations Architecture and Language
Reference (utilities, highlighting, and hazard statement domains).

c.1) DITA 1.2 xNAL Domain Specializations Architecture and Language Reference.

d)       DITA 1.2 Processing Guidelines and Examples (non-normative).


e)       Basic Topic document type shell (topic type, no domains).

f)         Topic type modules.

g)       Topic domain specialization modules for the indexing, utilities,
highlighting, and hazard statement domains.

h)       Basic Map document type shell (only map type plus the map group domain).

i)         Map modules.

j)         Map Group domain specialization modules.

k)       Delayed Resolution domain specialization modules.

l)         xNAL domain specialization modules.

n)       ditaval document type.


2)       Technical Content Package


a)       DITA 1.2 Technical Content Architecture and Language
Reference (concept, task, reference, glossary).

b)       DITA 1.2 Software, Programming, and User Interface Domains
Specializations Architecture and Language Reference.


c)       Topic document type shell (topic plus core topic domains plus the
software, programming, and UI domains).

d)       Concept document type shell (concept plus core topic domains plus
the software, programming, and UI domains).

e)       Glossary document type shell (glossentry plus core topic domains plus
the software, programming, and UI domains).

f)         Reference document type shell (reference plus core topic domains plus
the software, programming, and UI domains).

g)       Task document type shell (constrained task plus core topic domains plus the
software, programming, and UI domains).

h)       concept, glossary, reference, and task specialization modules.

i)         Software, programming, and UI domain specialization modules.

j)         Map document type shell (map plus map group, delayed resolution, and indexing domains).

k)       Technical Content Ditabase doctype shell (topic, concept, glossentry,
reference, constrained task plus the core topic domains plus the software,
programming, and UI domains).


3)       Book Package


a)       DITA 1.2 Book Architecture and Language Reference (bookmap).


b)       Bookmap document type shell (bookmap plus map group, indexing,
delayed resolution, and xNAL domains).

c)       Bookmap specialization modules.


4)       Learning and Training Content Package


a)       DITA 1.2 Learning and Training Content Architecture and Language Reference.


b)       Doctype shells for all of the Learning and Training topic
specializations except learningBase, includes the core topic, software,
programming, UI, Learning topic, and Learning Metadata domains.

c)       Learning and Training topic, map, and metadata domains.

d)       Learning and Training map doctype shell (map plus the map group,
delayed resolution, Learning Map,
Learning Metadata, and Learning topic domains).

e)       Learning and Training bookmap doctype shell (bookmap plus the
map group, delayed resolution, Learning Map and Learning
Metadata domains).

f)         Learning and Training map domain specialization modules.


5)       Machine Industry Package


a)       DITA 1.2 Machine Industry Architecture and Language Reference.


b)       Machine Industry Task doctype shell (constrained task plus the
core topic and Machine Industry domain specializations).

c)       Machine Industry domain specialization modules.


6)       Semantic Linking, Controlled Values, and Taxonomies Package


a)       DITA 1.2 Semantic Linking, Controlled Values, and Taxonomies
Architecture and Language Reference.


b)       Subject Schema Map document type shell (need details here).

c)       Subject Schema Map modules.

d)       Classification Map document type shell (need details here).

e)       Classification domain specialization modules.


7)       Documentation Package


a)       The DITA source plus PDF, chunked HTML, unchunked HTML, and
HTML Help output for all of the Architecture, Language Reference,
Guideline, and Example documents from the other packages.

b)   The source and all outputs for all of the approved Best Practice
documents as individual documents.


8)       Combined Package


a)       All of the above in one combined package.


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