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Subject: Re: [dita] Summary of Working Resolutions Regarding DITA Complexity

Hi Stan,

Thanks for the very useful summaries.  I have at this point only one question, relative to items 18 & 19.  I'm not sure why both the DITA TC and the DITA Adoption TC would be tasked to do the same thing; it seems to me more an item for the Adoption TC than for the TC itself.


On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 10:51 AM, Stan Doherty <stan@modularwriting.com> wrote:
Hi all --

Here's my summary of resolutions from the past few TC meeting discussions. I have cross-posted them to the "Complexity" web page itself at http://wiki.oasis-open.org/dita/DITA_Perceptions.



Item-1 -- The DITA Adoption TC should recruit more people to get involved with writing articles about DITA. Contributors (ideally) need to be active members of the Adoption TC, although there are opportunities for collaboration. For example, perhaps a TC member can work up a set of working examples on a feature prior to handing that off to an Adoption TC person for doing a write-up.

Item-2 -- The DITA TC should for DITA 1.3 make it easier to create subsets of the DITA documentation. Robert commented that there is almost certainly room for better documentation subsetting with DITA 1.3. He would be involved with doing the implementation work, but needs other people to offer suggestions and insights on what to do.

Item-3 -- The DITA TC should make Jarno's DTD/Schema shell generator more widely available and officially supported.

Item-4 -- The DITA TC should create default document types that include fewer domains a la the base topic.

Item-5 -- The DITA TC should make specialization easier (new rules, tools, auditing aids). Fir DITA 1.3 - Michael Priestley summarized some thoughts that he has been having about building into DITA 1.3 a template-based interface against a subset of DITA features that would allow users to pick and choose what they would like to see included in a constraint. This completed template could be exported to multiple tool environments. A dedicated working group would be one approach to getting this done.

Item-6 -- The DITA TC should provide a repository of well-known specializations. JoAnn, Robert, and Michael will get together to figure out how to make the specialization repository work, whether it be an extension of dita.xml.org or a Sourceforge submission. Figuring out how to search them and classify/rate them would be important. Rating guidelines for authors and submitters will be needed.

Item-7 -- The DITA Adoption TC should develop a feature article addressing "what is the most basic set of DITA features" would be useful for people learning DITA.

Item-8 -- The DTA TC should review alternative "views" of the DITA architecture in order to determine if there is a better way to capture and present the architecture to existing and new users. For example, reviewing Rob Hanna's proposal about abstract classes or other notions of type hierarchies might serve as a starting point.

Item-9 -- The DITA TC should assist in providing new users with a "minimalist" implementation of DITA by developing a starter set of DTDs and constraints. Hand this off to DITA-Adoption-TC. Michael and Don are interested in participating as a skunkworks activity within the TC. Members of the TC and of the BusDocs SC are solicited to participate and perhaps own.

Item-10 -- The DITA Adoption TC should leverage the to-be-developed "starter set" of DTDs/constraints and promote awareness of this "minimalist"/"no frills" path toward learning DITA.

Item-11 -- The DITA Adoption TC should address the perception that information typing (especially through DITA topic types) is not a hard requirement for learning or using DITA. That said, new users should be aware that ignoring information typing reduces the scope of what can be done in DITA (topic.dtd, basic maps).

Item-12 -- The DITA Adoption TC should review the DITA maturity model (Priestley, Swope) as a framework for organizing and orienting the discussion about "what do I need to learn in DITA in order to achieve XXX or YYY or ZZZ goal?"

Item-13 -- The DITA TC should develop a brief "reading guide to the DITA spec" that correlates features to usage/demographics. What's the learning path at each stage of the maturity model? How to move to the next level? (Organizations and individuals sometimes get stuck.) Individual TC members are encouraged to contribute rough draft material to the Adoption TC. Stan, Darryl, Kris, and Don have volunteered to help.

Item-14 -- The DITA Adoption TC should add to the DITA XML site (http://dita.xml.org/resource-directory) an index of sample DITA files developed in support of the feature articles.

Item-15 -- The DITA TC should for DITA 1.3 develop and review sample code snippets in the spec from the perspective of making them more easy to instantiate and process as working samples.

Item-16 -- The DITA TC should add a requirement to the DITA 1.3 proposal development and review process about sample files. If feature advocates and champions can develop and make available working samples of proposed new features, that might go a long way toward making those new features testable and promotable. Generating feature-specific equivalents to the S1000D "bicycle" example would be great. Preserve the distinction between creating "sample files" to support learning and "test files" to address compliance.

Item-17 -- The DITA Adoption TC should monitor the new-feature use case examples developed in the DITA TC to use as a foundation for DITA 1.3 feature articles.

Item-18 -- The DITA-TC should explore opportunities for increasing the precision and/or usefulness of Google search results about DITA.

Item-19 -- The DITA Adoption TC should explore opportunities for increasing the precision and/or usefulness of Google search results about DITA.

Stan Doherty

Nancy Harrison
Infobridge Solutions 

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