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Subject: Re: [dita] Review of Lightweight DITA

Dawn, I hope that folks will respond on list, not off list.

My personal take is that the audience for Lightweight DITA is folks for whom DITA 1.3 is just not an option. I would expect technical communication departments to use the Technical Content edition and the bookmap/concept/reference/task/troubleshooting information types.

For me personally, I hope that Lightweight DITA will led to the following:

  • Ability to save Google documents as DITA topics
  • Ability to use a e-mail client and author as DITA topics

I'd like to hear from others about your concerns. I think we -- the DITA TC -- needs to have good answers to the points that you raise.

Re tables -- Most of my clients use <simpletable>. They wrap it within <fig> to get a title. I think the full CALS table, with spanning and other complicated stuff, encourages writers to use tables for content that should be reworked and reconsidered.


Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting
+1 919 682-2290; kriseberlein (skype)

On 6/23/2017 6:45 PM, Dawn Stevens wrote:
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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