Re: DITA - how to start?

Subject: Re: DITA - how to start?
From: "Fred Ridder" <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: caveatrob -at- gmail -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 13:03:07 -0400

While many people have issues with the accuracy and reliability
(e.g. freedom from bias) of Wikipedia articles, these issues relate
more to subject areas that involve interpretation such as history,
politics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, and world view.
Topics that relate to technical and technological issues are much
less subject to bias or hidden agendas. This is particularly true
for topics on current technology because the people who are
actually responsible for the technology (in this case the original
architects of DUTA at IBM and the members of the OASIS DITA
technical committee) tend to keep an eye on the articles that
are relevant to their technology and keep things from getting too
far out of line with reality. And in the case of such a niche
topic as DITA, it is very likely that everybody who contributed
to the DITA article is an actual DITA user (who else would be
motivated to write or revise an article such a specialized subject),
while I'm quite sure that no more than a few dozen Techwr-l
members have actually used DITA for anything more than an
experiment or pilot project.

Also, it seems to me that the list of external references in
a Wikipedia article is inherently more reliable than the article
itself as long as you know enough to pay some attention to
who is behind the referenced information. The list may contain
some questionable or marginally useful secondary references,
but when you're looking for "foundational resources" (such as
the defining specifications for DITA) I think Wikipedia is both
useful and highly reliable.

>From: "Rob Hudson" <caveatrob -at- gmail -dot- com>
>To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>Subject: Re: DITA - how to start?
>Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2007 22:28:00 -0500
>Fred said:
> >> I have to wonder whether posting to Techwr-l was really
> >> easier and more productinve than a quick check of Wikipedia
> >> and Google...
>I agree with you, Fred, that I could have done Wikipedia and Google.
>However, I figured the expertise here would give me a nice foundation
>from which to further research Dita. I could get a notion of where to
>begin from a good sampling of practitioners and then whittle down the
>resources from there.
>Regarding Wikipedia: Can I trust it more than I can trust a list of
>experts? Is it more valid for technical matters than for other types
>of issues?
>Thanks, all, for the primer.

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