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Subject: RE: [dita] problem with packaging of glossaries [but not really]

This topic has elicited quite a bit of concern from the BusDocs committee based on the perceived understanding of packaging. Your concept of packaging being a zip file appears to be different than our understanding. If it is a simple as a .zip file and each package can have unique and similar components (e.g., glossary, and other info types could simultaneously exist in multiple packages (e.g., reuse)) then there wouldn’t be any concern on our part, but rather it appears as though info types can only exist in one package or another.


This may be trite, but why can’t we treat the spec as having multiple audiences and create a spec and associated packages that reuses and presents the content as appropriate to that audience. I realize that this is occurring with TD and their own spec, but it appears as though the actual into types are moving as well. Offloading everything now seems to be an extreme move. We realize that there are a number of key issues that need to be addressed in 1.2 and don’t want to detract from these issues, but this is one of ours and it impacts not only our work, but potentially other subcommittee work.


I have pulled together some of the emails to identify why this appears to be more than a simple package question (e.g., zip file), rather it affects the standard and that seems to be a pretty big decision to make. Maybe this should be a special meeting so we can address it outside of the email.




Paul Gross, initial message, Aug. 20. Glossentry exists only in the TD package not in the base. Item 2 suggests this is also true of task, concept and reference.


“The problem: <glossentry> is specialized from <concept>. <task>, <concept>, and <reference> are in the TechDocs package. This forces <glossentry> etc. to be restricted to the TD package.  But non-TechDocs folks need glossaries, and support for them should be in the base.


Two solutions:

  1. Accept this. Present it as an unfortunate fait accompli for 1.2 -- if you want a glossary, you have to use the TD package (or specialize your own).
  2. Move <task>, <concept>, and <reference> back into the base, sans TD-specific domain specializations, and include those specializations in the TD package. Present this as an interim step toward simplified topics being developed by the BusDocs SC.

JoAnn Hackos, Aug. 20. Also implies that these info types are part of the TD package only.

“I am in favor of Bruce’s second recommendation. What is the problem with stating that concept, task, and reference are key specializations in the DITA standard? Why should they be relegated to technical communication only? I just don’t see the point of that.


Even if there is a All DITA package, we’re not including information about task, concept, and reference information types in the base architectural specification, but only in the arch spec for technical communication.


I’ve never been in favor of this split and would strongly prefer that we include task, concept, reference, and glossary in the base architectural specification. That would leave us with the machine industry specialization, which is, of course, extremely relevant for many outside the machine industry, and the various domains (software, ui, programming, machine industry, safety hazard). Also bookmap. Why is bookmap considered relevant only for technical communication. It’s probably less relevant there and more relevant for DocBook aficionados.”


And Michael Priestly’s response Aug. 21, which also implies that it is in one package and not another.


“The point of a separate base package is to provide the bare minimum of DITA support - just topic, map, basic utility domain.

So absolutely everything else gets relegated out to another package - and since we've only got two other packages, that means they either go into tech docs or learning and training.”




From: Ogden, Jeff [mailto:jogden@ptc.com]
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 12:47 PM
To: rob@ascan.ca; Grosso, Paul; dita
Subject: RE: [dita] problem with packaging of glossaries [but not really]


I am still confused about what we are talking about here and what specific problem we are trying to solve.


I asked earlier and was told that we were talking about "packaging".  That is, what .zip file holds what. Is that what we are still talking about?


Placing subsets of components into separate packages is just a convenience to allow people to download something less than everything. But since this seems to be causing so much controversy/confusion, perhaps we should abandon the idea of separate packages and just have a single "everything package".  I think OASIS would be happier if we did that anyway.


What package contains what components doesn't really change what a user can use, what can be specialized from what, or what can reference what. And assuming tools can use catalogs, the actual filenames and locations don't matter very much either.


Or are we talking about something other than packaging?


·         About the Public IDs and URIs that are used to reference the various files?


·         About the file and folder names and locations used to hold the files?


·         About what document type shells are made available in which package or in which folders?


·         About how the written specification is organized?




> -----Original Message-----

> From: Rob Hanna [mailto:rob@ascan.ca]

> Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 12:10 PM

> To: Grosso, Paul; dita

> Subject: Re: [dita] problem with packaging of glossaries [but not

> really]


> I think the point is that we are not ready to separate the three

> archetypes from the base specification. In the absence of any semantic

> alternatives, concept, task, and reference should remain within the

> core of the standard for this release.


> New users need to reference the information types in order to

> understand how topics are constructed based upon the information they

> represent. Topic alone contains no semantic markup at all. Even if new

> users reject concept, task, and reference within their environment,

> they need to see how these fit in order to develop their own relevant

> specializations. As Tim Grantham said in an earlier post, there ought

> to be few instances where DITA is considered where they could not be

> used.


> I believe that with further analysis and discussion that we may be in a

> position to consider the separation of tech pub info types from the

> base in DITA 1.3.


> Cheers,

> Rob Hanna

> ------Original Message------

> From: Grosso, Paul

> To: dita

> Subject: RE: [dita] problem with packaging of glossaries [but not

> really]

> Sent: 24 Aug 2009 11:40 AM



> Just what do people think the discussion is at this point?


> Is it still packaging?  Because if it is, I'm completely confused.


> As both Michael and Jeff have pointed out, packaging is just how

> we ship the files.  It is not whether someone can use this or that

> file or doctype as a basis for specialization or creation of their

> particular DITA application, yet that still seems to be the core

> of most of the continued discussion.


> If we aren't still talking about packaging, can we change the

> subject line (to whatever we're discussion, which I don't really

> understand).


> If we are talking about packaging, can someone explain how most

> of the discussion has anything to do with packaging?


> paul


> > -----Original Message-----

> > From: Kristen James Eberlein [mailto:keberlein@pobox.com]

> > Sent: Monday, 2009 August 24 10:34

> > Cc: dita

> > Subject: Re: [dita] problem with packaging of glossaries

> >

> > Elliot, would you elaborate on the "many uses of DITA" for which task,

> > concept, and reference are irrelevant? I think it would help move

> this

> > discussion forward to have concrete examples and use cases.

> >

> > Best,

> >

> > Kris

> >

> > ekimber wrote:

> > >

> > > Concept, task and reference are not "universal". There are many

> uses

> of DITA

> > > for which they are completely irrelevant.

> > >

> > > That particular breakdown is specific to a particular technical

> > > communication practice and philosophy and even that philosophy is

> not

> > > universal among technical communicators.


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