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Subject: RE: [dita-adoption] RE: [dita] who complains about complexity of DITA?
Yes, these are the things even with DITA advocates are talking.... Why do we need DITA 1.2 new features? Like we have already created specialized current 1.1 DTDs and we are happy with it.. Key-based mechanism is good but in order to implement the mechanism, we need to spend the time adapting new information architecture reflecting the features, and so on...
I am really looking forward to your article.
Tony, I think that you’ve nailed it in a nutshell. This is exactly what I have been hearing from authors, developers, and even well-known DITA consultants!
I am going to try and address why writers might care about some of the more obviously useful DITA 1.2 features in an article for a March 2011 issue of Intercom.
Kristen James Eberlein l DITA Architect and Technical Specialist l SDL Structured Content Technologies Division l (t) + 1 (919) 682-2290 l email@example.com
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“Complaints” might be too harsh, but the disquiet that I have heard comes from authors. I believe the issue is one of perception, not of complexity, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a lesser problem. From chats that I was involved in (or overheard), there is some feeling that DITA was OK as it was, and that the drivers for the 1.2 changes and additions are unclear. (“Who decided there was a need for keyref or whatever?” “I’m going to stick with 1.1, because I don’t need any new features.” “I can see that keyref is very clever and so on, but I can’t foresee ever needing it.”)
A comparison with DocBook was also made, along with a view that the demise of DocBook was connected with the growth of its number of elements.
The question for us should be how do we address this perception of complexity? It is quite difficult to explain specialisation and conref to a novice, but we now need to also be able to explain constraints and keyref, subject schemes, etc.