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Subject: RE: [dita] who complains about complexity of DITA?

Hi Michael,
> I hadn't noticed that undercurrent, and don't
> think it's relevant to the discussion in any case.
It was just a couple of off-hand comments, which I agree are not
relevant to the discussion (I just felt that as a member of both TCs, I
needed to come to the defense of DocBook:-).
> But I do think that just saying "DITA is complex"
> is a complete mistake. DITA can be complex, if you
> need complexity. It can also be simple, if you need
> simplicity.
Yes, DITA can be simple, but it takes work to make it simple for
writers. And to bring in a pertinent connection with DocBook, DITA is
tougher to use out-of-the-box than DocBook, esp. if you want to stick
with open source tools.

That will change, but it will take at least two things:

1) Pre-built vocabulary packages that work well out-of-the-box. This is
well-described by Eliot in his response to this thread. There are now
commercial tools that make it pretty easy to use DITA, as long as you
have the right vocabulary and specializations, so this isn't a high

2) Better information to help practitioners harness the power of DITA to
create applications that work for writers. This is tougher, but it will

3:-) It wouldn't hurt to have a few high visibility case studies that do
things that would be difficult or impossible with another schema.

As a sidenote, I don't think I've ever worked with a new technology that
wasn't considered too complex by at least some of the folks who were
charged with implementing or using it. It's simply a part of introducing
something new that takes time and hard work to overcome.

Best Regards,
XML Press
XML for Technical Communicators
(970) 231-3624

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