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Subject: who complains about complexity of DITA?
Are we entirely clear about the use contexts in which users find the number of elements onerous or confusing? Obviously, the authoring environment is one. But do architects also object? Do the tools vendors object? This seems less likely to me, but it's not something to guess, we should find out. And is that (the number of elements) the only complexity that they object to?
The constraints mechanism can neatly address the perceived complexity in the authoring environment. (Be it noted that existing mechanisms provided by [some?] authoring tools to hide elements from authors apparently do not reduce these complaints, maybe because the complaints come from users who don't make use of them.) But creating and managing constraints is another layer for architects and designers to deal with.