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Subject: Re: [dita] Review of Lightweight DITA

I have reviewed the spec as well and do not have any new comments beyond those expressed already.


Dawn brings up some very good points. If people want that simplicity, why wouldn't they just use HTML or Markdown directly?


On the DocBook standard, we ran into complaints about the number of elements. We addressed this by creating 2 valid subsets: Simplified DocBook and DocBook for Publishers. Both meet the needs of specific audiences, but is still valid subsets.


What makes DITA and DocBook different from plain HTML is the semantic inlines. It helps to create intelligent content. The user community wants simple, web-based interfaces so that they can get structured information from their subject matter experts or from non-traditional writers. There are several vendors who have built such solutions, while still creating valid DITA under the covers.


IMO, Lightweight DITA should be akin to Simplified DocBook in that we should create a valid subset of DITA and make it easier to remove elements that are not needed (for example, programming inlines if they are not writing software documentation). We shouldn't remove the core information types. They still provide the informative distinctions between types of content objects and each serve a particular purpose.


Thanks and best regards,




Scott Hudson
Content Strategist

Digital Aviation Learning & Development 


Voting member:

Boeing Data Standards Technical Advisory Board

OASIS DocBook TC, Publishers SC (Chair)

OASIS DITA TC, Tech Comm SC, LW DITA SC, Learning Content SC (Secretary)


OASIS Augmented Reality in Information Products (ARIP) TC


Jeppesen  |  Digital Aviation  |  Boeing

55 Inverness Drive East Englewood, CO 80112 | www.jeppesen.com


This document contains only administrative, uncontrolled data under U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations.


From: <dita@lists.oasis-open.org> on behalf of Dawn Stevens <dawn.stevens@Comtech-serv.com>
Date: Friday, June 23, 2017 at 4:45 PM
To: "dita@lists.oasis-open.org" <dita@lists.oasis-open.org>
Subject: [dita] Review of Lightweight DITA


Hi all,

In my review of the document and the copious amounts of comments made already, I don’t know that I have anything more to add that hasn’t already been said. I completely agree with most of the comments made by all.


I have my own personal issues that I’m not sure are worth discussing, since I am sure they’ve been debated before and I’m sure people much smarter than me and more experienced in this area have already had these debates. But for the record, here are my bigger issues. If anyone wants to respond to me privately, I’m happy to get more understanding; it certainly feels that I’m the only one who is struggling with these fundamentals, and perhaps it’s just indicative of being late to the party and not really following any of discussions early on since JoAnn was our representative.

·         IT stands for information typing. There is no such thing in lwDITA — everything’s a topic. To me this is part of the essence of DITA and something I am frequently trying to educate my clients about — why everything just shouldn’t be a concept, why it’s important to determine what type of content you are writing. Now they’re going to have permission to do just what I’ve taught them not to do.

·         It seems that what lwDITA boils down to is the elimination of semantic tagging, which again, has been an entire educational process — why is it important that it’s not just a paragraph, but a context paragraph — I’ve worked with my clients to explain why it’s better to tag content not just on what it is or how it looks, but what purpose it serves. When purpose is clear, following the template and structure become easier, and more consistent. Eliminating semantics in my opinion opens the door to just having a topic with a bunch of paragraphs in it, without structure and consistency. 

·         100% of my clients use <table>, not <simpletable>, to meet their needs. It seems a shame that this one thing will keep them from an lw solution if they otherwise wanted the simplicity.




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