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Subject: DITA 2.0 proposal process: it's a learning process...

One thing I think I've mentioned more than once is that we should be open to updating our templates as we encounter new info (without necessarily re-working proposals that have already been completed).

I think I've noticed one item, as I worked on two separate proposals today. Both may have backwards compatibility / migration impacts that are not called out in our Stage 2 template.

Specifically - while we call out the compatibility issue for removing an attribute (impact to docs, to the spec, to the tools), we currently do not call out the impact to any specialization modules that might use the attribute. For example, as I worked on the proposal to drop @xtrf and @xtrc, I realized that this will likely hit every specialization module that exists today. It's a simple change (drop references to this entity or group), but one that's not called out and thus could be missed.

The same thing came up when I considered adding @outputclass to elements that don't have it. The stage 2 proposal says there is no migration impact, which is absolutely true for the content -- but if (for example) we move the declaration into the universal attributes group, any specialization that declares both "univ-atts" and @outputclass will have to drop the @outputclass definition to be valid.

I'm guessing there will not be any objections to adding a "impact to specialization definitions" section into the stage 2 proposal template, but wanted to let everyone know what I'd noticed before I make the update.


Robert D. Anderson
DITA-OT lead and Co-editor DITA 1.3 specification,
Digital Services Group

E-mail: robander@us.ibm.com
Digital Services Group
11501 BURNET RD,, TX, 78758-3400, AUSTIN, USA

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