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Subject: Simplified DITA authoring/schemas proposal for 13076

Also relates to:
       13051 providing a DITA starter set

Many authoring scenarios would benefit from the structure that specialization provides, without requiring the full flexibility of DITA's advanced capabilities. For example, occasional or contributing authors have no room for the learning curve for every DITA element and behavior, but would still benefit from guided authoring through specialization, as well as a simplified reuse and metadata framework that also makes their work available to other DITA authoring communities.

We can make it easier for authoring communities to adapt DITA to their needs by:

Simplifying authoring:

·        creating simplified authoring DTDs/schemas that limit flexibility, with strict nesting rules and limited attributes and behaviors

·        providing easily readable simplified DTDs/schemas that don’t expose full DITA

Simplifying specialization:

·        creating the required simplified topic DTDs by assembling and sequencing a set of common section-level components that can be easily shared between specializations

·        creating the required simplified map DTDs by defining type-specific topicrefs that can set the required types and sequences of the topics a map can point to

·        creating simple rules for others to follow when creating their own specializations (topic or map based) or specialized components

By codifying standard approaches to simplified authoring (markup nesting and attribute choices) we will make it easier for editors to quickly support simple authoring scenarios with no or minimal configuration.

By codifying standard approaches to build new specializations (of maps or topics) or specialization components (at the section level, or with phrase or attribute domains) we will make it easier  for architects or even authors to quickly adapt DITA to new authoring scenarios.

By providing a starter library of simplified topic and map types, and sharable components, we can provide immediate benefit to already known simple authoring scenarios, and also provide a pattern for others to follow when they create their own.

Michael Priestley, Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM)
Lead IBM DITA Architect

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