OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

dita message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

Subject: Radford comments germane to ISBN, and more

Allyn Radford, a member of John Hunt's Learning Specialization SC, noted
Eliot's post about ISBN metadata being sequestered in its present
definition. Please see how these comments might enlighten that discussion
when it comes up in our agenda. Thanks!

Don Day
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
Chair, IBM DITA Architects Board
Email: dond@us.ibm.com
11501 Burnet Rd. MS9033E015, Austin TX 78758
Phone: +1 512-244-2868 (home office)

"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
 Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
   --T.S. Eliot
----- Forwarded by Don Day/Austin/IBM on 06/04/2008 09:08 AM -----
             Allyn Radford                                                 
             ies.com.au>                                                To 
                                       Don Day/Austin/IBM@IBMUS            
             06/03/2008 07:32                                           cc 
             PM                        Michael Priestley                   
                                       <mpriestl@ca.ibm.com>, John         
                                       Hunt/Cambridge/IBM@Lotus, Eliot     
             Please respond to         Kimber <ekimber@reallysi.com>       
             allynr@learniliti                                     Subject 
                 es.com.au             DITA Metadata                       

Hi Don (and cc's)

I noticed Eliot raising the issue of ISBN's being trapped within the
bookmap specialization rather than being part of the core DITA
metadata.  The issue raised is, I believe, an important one and I also
think that it extends well beyond the issue of ISBN's alone.  During the
work of the Learning Specialization subcommittee harmonizing IEEE LOM
within the content structures of that specialization I raised the issue
of metadata within DITA in general and suggested that some alternative
approach may be necessary as DITA continues to evolve and support an
increasing number of communities and specializations.  Still being a bit
of a newby to DITA processes I probably didn't raise this issue in
accordance with procedures the first time around and so while outlining
the issues here I am also requesting some guidance on how to raise this
sort of issue most appropriately.

The issues raised below are under the general assumption that DITA
content may ultimately be used across any sector or community
(corporate, publishing, educational, government, defense etc) and that
the scope of content development and reuse should be cognizant of the
different requirements of these sectors.

As I see it the issues may be generally described as follows:

1.  Revision of Core DITA metadata
The current metadata that is core to DITA is strongly representative of
DITA's origins and is not always well suited to the growing number of
specializations.  While this may seem easily dismissed since most fields
are optional, my experience is that the more metadata fields that people
have to contend with and the less relevant they are to the community's
requirements, the more resistance there is to adoption.  It also may
require further and potentially unnecessary effort to shield users from
irrelevant metadata.  For example, the current core metadata contains a
number of fields that have little or no relevance to education sector,
government sector and particular uses in corporate sector such as
broader business documentation etc.  Having an abundance of fields that
are not required often causes users to question the relevance of the
content format for their requirements.  As the number of non-technical
content developers increases, which is bound to happen when DITA is used
across communities in government and education, this issue may have
greater impact.

2.  Content usage across specializations
One of the key values of DITA is that content becomes more reusable
across an entire enterprise and between enterprises and collaborating
partners, consortia etc.  The rules governing content in collaborative
or multi-organizational environments can vary substantially and the
usage of content for different purposes may also require addition of new
metadata in line with particular usage scenarios.  This raises several
possible sub-issues.
    a)  Content protection - in a variety of situations content will be
protected from change due to its commercial or authorized status.  When
all metadata is embedded this will prevent modification of any type and
will mean that even the addition of supplementary metadata will be
    b)  Accumulation of metadata - as content is reused across an
enterprise or consortium it may be necessary to add metadata in
accordance with the nature of the content reuse.  (eg technical content
being reuse for training or marketing; publisher materials being reused
in the context of education; government policy content being reused for
information or training purposes; accessibility metadata requirements
across any use or reuse requirements etc).  If all metadata is embedded
within the content then problems will occur when content is protected
from modification.  It is also likely that as content is reused across
specializations that the accumulation of metadata will become unwieldy
and lead to situations where the volume of metadata outweighs the volume
of content itself especially with highly granular content.

3.  Embedded vs Associated metadata
It may be worth considering a model where core metadata is embedded and
non-core metadata is associated.  If this approach were adopted the
method of association should be part of the core structure of DITA
content and should allow the sort of extensibility and flexibility that
will overcome the nature of the issues raised here.  There would appear
to be little value to enabling effective association of metadata without
reviewing the existing core metadata.

While the impact of some of these issues may be reduced (hopefully) with
increased sophistication in the authoring tools, issues relating to
protected content and the potential accumulation of metadata will remain.

I am interested to know whether these issues are of concern to the TC
and also how issues such as this might best be raised - especially since
I am not a participant at the TC level.

Thanks and regards

Allyn J Radford
Managing Director
Learnilities Pty Ltd

Solution Architecture Consulting
Standards-based eLearning Systems and Content
Digital Content Exchange Planning and Development

Phone: +61 (0)3 9751 0730
Mob:   +61 (0)419 009 320


[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]