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Subject: Re: [dita] The whatever-we-call-it factor

On 3/11/2015 4:31 PM, Bob Thomas wrote:
DITA is an XML vocabulary for creating content and then aggregating it and other resources into a structured information network.
Hey, Bob, I appreciate your attempt to try to synthesize some of the new language that Eliot has introduced. Regarding your starting definition above, we have already defined DITA in this way:
"The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is an XML-based architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering topic-oriented, information-typed content that can be reused and single-sourced in a variety of ways."

We should not introduce any new appearance of defining DITA as a particular kind of usage given that we already have a sufficiently broad definition that encourages new ways of looking at DITA usage. The redefinition specifically inhibits any thought about accessing DITA resources as independent Web resources apart from the context of a map (by the very usage of "aggregation" and "structured information network"). In the work of the Lightweight DITA SC, we (I, for one) are keenly focused on DITA for the long tail of uptake that is completely orthogonal to the business concerns of traditional publishing, which "aggregation and structured networks" enshrines.

So we need to be cautious about using this new language in any way that draws DITA into a role of usage that will limit the freedom of innovative use going forward. I'm seeing this so clearly now that I want to ask the TC to consider how the terminology impacts the vision of adoption that DITA ought to be free to grow into. We may well want to better define the publishing role using some of the new concepts, but we've got to keep the door open for innovation beyond that already well-understood community. This is about DITA for the rest of us.

Don R. Day
Founding Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
LinkedIn: donrday   Twitter: @donrday
About.me: Don R. Day   Skype: don.r.day<
"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
--T.S. Eliot

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