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: Re: [dita] Use of "claims to be DITA aware": Why I Said It Like That

On 2/22/10 1:21 PM, "Dick Hamilton" <rlhamilton@frii.com> wrote:

> Bruce and Eliot,
> A couple of points/questions:
> From Bruce:
>> My thinking: A list of features is useful to vendors because
>> it helps to level the marketing field, but it is not essential
>> for the TC when it is called upon to judge partial conformance.
>> <snip>
>> This presumes that we do have a process in place that brings
>> vendors before us for judgement of their marketing claims
>> (there's that word).
> What do you mean by "judging" marketing claims? I may have missed this
> being a relative newcomer, but I didn't think the TC was planning to
> take an active role in judging conformance.

The TC makes the law, it doesn't enforce it.

It is the job of either users (i.e., "The DITA Community") or some 3rd party
certification agency (which does not exist for DITA as far as I know) to
judge whether or not a given processor that claims DITA awareness does or
does not in fact conform. The most the TC can do is provide a spec that
provides objective means by which conformance can be determined by informed

This is part of our struggle with conformance (and why to some degree it
didn't really matter that DITA had no conformance clause before DITA 1.2):
the nature of DITA is that for many features there is an inherent degree of
fuzziness as to what is or can be required. This is because the nature of
DITA processing is ultimately in the service of producing various outputs
and the nature of those outputs is necessarily determined by the actor that
creates them.

There are very few MUST statements in the spec, and most of those relate to
addressing, which is one of the few clearly deterministic and invariant
aspects of DITA processing.

The most we can for most things is that if a processor does something that
is covered by the DITA spec it should do it the way the spec says.

Remember too that DITA is primarily a *data* standard, not a *processing*
standard. That is, what is really important is consistency among DITA
*documents*, for which the rules are much clearer and much easier to test. A
DITA vocabulary module either conforms or it doesn't and documents that use
that vocabulary module are either valid or they're not.

To that degree, DITA serves its purpose as helping to enable and ensure data
interchange over the widest possible scope.


Eliot Kimber
Senior Solutions Architect
"Bringing Strategy, Content, and Technology Together"
Main: 610.631.6770

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