Re: Help with Docbook (an alternative)

Subject: Re: Help with Docbook (an alternative)
From: "Michael Priestley" <mpriestl -at- ca -dot- ibm -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2003 12:47:16 -0400

Mark Baker writes:
>DITA is not a DTD. It is a system for creating new DTD's by specializing
> existing ones.

It's actually both. The base information types (generic topic, plus more
specific concept, task, and reference topics) are usable as-is, or can be
extended as you note. Much of the information we've created in DITA so far
within IBM has just used the base topic types and domains shipped in the
public package.

>When you commit to DITA, therefore, you are committing to a specific
> processing model which may or may not suit your needs.

This is true. Our specific needs were faster deployment, more flexibility,
and more reuse. Computer documentation is a domain that evolves very
quickly, and it takes too long to design specific solutions without some
kind of framework to shorten the design cycle and allow different designs
to interoperate, for example by building content from multiple DTDs into a
single linked helpset or book.

The developerWorks package provides DTDs, schemas, XSLT, XSL:FO, and CSS.
We wanted to make sure we didn't do anything in the basic architecture that
put a requirement on tooling or proprietary languages. That said, it is
certainly possible to implement the processing architecture in a valid and
compatible way using other means, and certainly there will be circumstances
where that's appropriate. The fact that we didn't include those other
options in the developerWorks package doesn't mean they're not valid

Michael Priestley
DITA Specialization Architect
mpriestl -at- ca -dot- ibm -dot- com
Dept 833 IBM Canada t/l: 969-3233 phone: 905-413-3233
Toronto Information Development


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