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Subject: Update/request from the LwDITA subcommittee

Dear DITA TC members,

The Lightweight DITA subcommittee is asking its parent organization, the DITA technical committee, for help.
Simply put, the Lightweight DITA subcommittee does not have the resources (mostly human) to produce a spec under the workflow set by the TC last year. That workflow, as some TC members probably remember, requires that every LwDITA component reference must reuse a majority of its content from its counterpart topic in the 2.0 spec, including attributes, shortdesc, usage information, and rendering expectations. While this workflow could be implemented for XDITA with intense conditional tagging, it creates serious problems for HDITA and particularly MDITA.
And MDITA is the main reason for the Lightweight DITA spec: there is documented user demand for an authoritative OASIS-approved document that specifies mappings of DITA to Markdown. Companies and groups are already using MDITA in production, and confusion and redundancy are in place because there is no actual spec, and some are following Jarno's Markdown DITA syntax reference as that authoritative resource. Others use our committee note or even my book. Without an OASIS-approved MDITA spec, there's no standard mapping from DITA to Markdown and users and tool developers have to patch implementations to accommodate many approaches for doing DITA-like Markdown.
I hope that we can discuss this at a TC meeting and revise or develop a strategy that allows the Lightweight DITA subcommittee to accomplish its purpose with OASIS.


Carlos Evia, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Communication
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0112

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