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Subject: Re: [dita] Audience of the arch spec

There is a lot happening in this thread that I want to respond to:
  • One reason that I advocated that we review the "complete" (base + technical content + learning & training) version of the 1.2 specification was to ensure that we considered whether or not the three sections of the architectural spec were parallel in tone, content, audience, etc. I was aware that the learning & training material had a very different organization and style than the other material.

  • We previously took time to explore the question of "Who is the audience for the architectural spec topics?," and came to the following consensus:

    The intended audience of the architectural specification is not a typical author or end user; the intended audience is people designing tools that work with DITA. Such people need to understand how the core elements of the DITA architecture work together. While the architectural specification is not intended to provide step-by-step instructions, it needs to contain enough topics that describe the overall flow, so that tools vendors 1) will understand how people will use DITA, and 2) will be able to properly implement the standard as intended ("spirit not just letter of the law.")

    For more information, see http://wiki.oasis-open.org/dita/DITA_1.2_specifications:_Authoring_and_editorial_guidelines#Audienceandpurposeforthearchitecturalspec

  • We need to write the specification in a way that is technically precise and reflects common vocabulary established by the XML standard. At the same time, given DITA's origins, we need to be aware of the terminology and assumptions that technical communicators and single-sourcing advocates bring to the table.
I think good old-fashioned technical writing and editing will go far to handle the problem. Yes, that takes time and skill, but we do have people on the TC with expertise in this area.



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