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Subject: DITA TC question: Web GUI hosted at OASIS?

As you are aware, the DITA TC has been working through how to provide
"starter packs" of common groups of topic types and domains for various use
cases. As DITA continues to grow with new specializations, the number of
permutations grow as well. At last week's DITA TC meeting, we had the
following discussion (recorded at

"John Hunt summarized. The subcommittee had a good discussion about
packaging and docytpe shell options provided by Michael Priestley, but the
consensus was while there was value in providing alternative shells, it was
troubled by the question of who actually would do the work of providing and
maintaining these shells. Discussion ensued. Michael Priestley noted that
Robert Anderson had told him that he did not know whether he could handle
the additional work. Elliot Kimber asked whether the heavy work was the
sheer number of shells or the task of documenting them; Michael answered
that he thought that it was the need to test the shells, and suggested
tabling the discussion until Robert was present. Michael then added that
the TC needed to get a better sense of how much work is involved and weigh
it against work that would be needed to create an interface that would
enable people to create custom doctype shells. He elaborated on the idea of
a Web GUI that would enable users to create custom doctype shells that met
their needs by selecting topic types, domain types, map type, etc.
Discussion ensued about where such solution could be hosted, whether any
other standards body offered tools that supported standards implementation
(such as w3w and HTML Tidy), whether the specifications could or should
include a reference to the tool, etc. The general consensus was that such a
tool would be valuable as an important utility to make the architecture
available to users and should be located on a Web site hosted by OASIS"

Basically it would be "just another way to get packages" from the OASIS
site, but with the special behavior of building custom sets that follow the
DITA rules for grouping and subsetting.  The availability of this tool
would simplify the packaging planning that we have been absorbed with for
many weeks (and the problem is not getting any smaller as DITA evolves).
So I've been requested to ask, If the TC had resources to develop such a
tool, would OASIS be able to host the tool itself (which is separate from
the downloadable Spec package itself) on one of its domains, either
associated with the TC or with the DITA community as you think might be

We would appreciate OASIS giving this proposal some considered thought and
a soon reply.  Thanks!

Don Day
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
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

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