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Subject: Re: [dita] Update/request from the LwDITA subcommittee

Hey, Carlos.

I think the TC set out reasonable expectations for XDITA, and I personally did the work (approximately 60+ hours) of implementing the reuse. I also set up the bookmap for the LwDITA and published the one and only PDF of the draft LwDITA spec that was posted to Kavi last year.

Has the SC produced any new content about MDITA? Done any new work on the LwDITA spec? When I look at the GitHub repository, I see no work has been done since October 2019, and only sparse work between July (when you and I last worked together) and October 2019.

I honestly can't see what more the DITA TC can do. Robert Anderson and I, as DITA 2.0 spec editors, set up a regular monthly meeting with you and Alan Houser (no longer a LwDITA spec editor). It doesn't look like many (or any?) of our suggestions were attempted, but our suggested starting point would be the same today: Prototype a few element-reference topics to see how you can handle HDITA and MDITA considerations.

Developing a specification is hard work, and unfortunately there is no way to circumvent that.


Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting
+1 919 622-1501; kriseberlein (skype)

On 2/6/2020 12:23 PM, Carlos Evia wrote:
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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