[sc34wg3] FW: [OASIS members] OASIS TC Call for Participation: DITA TC

Ann Wrightson sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Mon, 29 Mar 2004 16:56:46 +0100

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Apologies to those already in the OASIS universe... others, please note.

Ann W.

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Subject: [OASIS members] OASIS TC Call for Participation: DITA TC
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A new OASIS technical committee is being formed. The OASIS Darwin=20
Information Typing Architecture (DITA) Technical Committee has been=20
proposed by the following members of OASIS: Paul Grosso, Arbortext; Indi =

Liepa, Nokia; Eliot Kimber, Innodata-ISOGEN; Don Day, Michael Priestley, =

and Dave Schell, IBM; and France Baril, JoAnn Hackos, Debbie Aleyne=20
Lapeyre, and Paul Antonov, Individual members.

The proposal for a new TC meets the requirements of the OASIS TC Process =

(see http://oasis-open.org/committees/process.shtml), and is appended to =

this message. The TC name, statement of purpose, scope, list of=20
deliverables, audience, and language specified in the proposal will=20
constitute the TC's charter. The TC Process allows these items to be=20
clarified (revised); such clarifications (revisions), as well as=20
submissions of technology for consideration by the TC and the beginning=20
of technical discussions, may occur no sooner than the TC's first =

As specified by the OASIS TC Process, the requirements for becoming a=20
member of the TC at the first meeting are that you must 1) be an=20
employee of an OASIS member organization or an Individual member of=20
OASIS; 2) notify the TC chair of your intent to participate at least 15=20
days prior to the first meeting; and 3) attend the first meeting of the=20
TC. For OASIS members, to register for the TC using the OASIS=20
collaborative tools, go to the TC's public web page at=20
http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/dita and click on the button for=20
"Join This TC" at the top of the page. You may add yourself to the=20
roster of the TC either as a Prospective Member (if you intend to become =

a member of the TC) or an Observer. A notice will automatically be sent=20
to the TC chair, which fulfills requirement #2 above.

OASIS members may also join the TC after the first meeting. Note that=20
membership in OASIS TCs is by individual, and not by organization.

Non-OASIS members may read the TC's mail list archive, view the TC's web =

page, and send comments to the TC using a web form available on the TC's =

web page; click the "Send A Comment" button. The archives of the TC's=20
mail list and public comments are visible at=20

Further information about the topic of this TC may be found on the Cover
Pages under "Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)" at=20


Karl F. Best
Vice President, OASIS
office  +1 978.667.5115 x206     mobile +1 978.761.1648
karl.best@oasis-open.org      http://www.oasis-open.org

Name of the Technical Committee

OASIS Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) Technical Committee

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee (TC) is to define and=20
maintain the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) and to=20
promote the use of the architecture for creating standard information=20
types and domain-specific markup vocabularies.

DITA is specializable, which allows for the introduction of specific=20
semantics for specific purposes without increasing the size of other=20
DTDs, and which allows the inheritance of shared design and behavior and =

interchangeability with unspecialized content.

More specific semantics allow

* more automatable processes
* more consistent authoring
* better retrievability
* better applicability to specific groups

The work of this TC will differ from similar efforts such as DocBook=20
because of

* broader scope, inasmuch as DITA applies to more areas than just=20
technical manuals
* more specific scope, inasmuch as DITA applies to topic-oriented=20
information rather than all technical manuals

Scope of Work

The TC will create specifications for the Darwin Information Typing=20
Architecture suitable for submitting for balloting by OASIS membership=20
for OASIS standard status.

DITA is an XML-based specification for modular and extensible=20
topic-based information. DITA provides a model for defining and=20
processing new information types as specializations of existing types.

DITA populates the model with an extensible hierarchy of standard types. =

DITA encourages reuse by reference either of topics or of fragments of=20
topics. DITA topics

* can be assembled in different combinations for many deliverables or=20
output formats
* are optimized for navigation and search
* are well suited for concurrent authoring and content management

Through use of a common specification, DITA content owners can benefit=20
from industry support, interoperability, and reuse of community=20
contributions. At the same time, through specialization, content owners=20
can address the specific requirements of their business or industry.

This committee builds upon the foundation established by the work of IBM =

on DITA.

The tasks of the TC include

* To articulate the principles of the DITA architecture through formal=20
* To assess the relationship of DITA specialization to emerging XML=20
standards (such as the ontology initiatives associated with the Semantic =

* To define appropriate enhancements of the architecture
* To standardize the information types in the DITA type hierarchy
* To encourage cooperation within and between the various topical=20
domains of potential DITA users. It is anticipated that, in addition to=20
the common information elements provided in the base specification,=20
specific communities of users may develop additional, specialized type=20
hierarchies of particular relevance to their use cases. The TC may=20
choose to recognize new information types or domain specializations=20
where a new specialization provides a standard solution for a=20
well-established need, has broad support, does not conflict with=20
existing types, and serves as a useful base for additional=20
specialization. For example, the concept, task, and reference=20
information types do so for the user assistance community. The TC=20
anticipates maintaining a set of core information types of general=20
utility, implemented in schema languages (such as DTD or XML Schema)=20
selected by the TC. Recognized types may also be maintained by other=20
groups (including other OASIS TCs).
* To design a generic methodology for specialized extensions of the base =

specification by user communities. This methodology may address issues=20
such as delivery of a reference implementation, operation of a public=20
registry for specializations, suggested guidelines for development of a=20
user community=92s information types, and so forth. When the above tasks =

are completed, the TC may reconsider further work, which will be defined =

as allowed by the OASIS TC Process.

List of Deliverables

Within three months of the first meeting, the existing DITA=20
specification will be contributed to OASIS by its author, will be=20
further developed by the TC and approved as a Committee Draft, and then=20
submitted to OASIS for consideration as an OASIS Standard. The=20
specification consists of

* a formal definition of the rules for creating new information type and =

domain specializations through specialization
* the DTDs and XML Schemas for the initial DITA information type,=20
domain, and map specializations
* a processing model description that defines standard usage of the DITA =


Within six months of the first meeting, the TC will seek to encourage=20
specific specialized extensions of the DITA specification, as well as=20
these deliverables:

* guidelines and methodologies for the development of DITA=20
specializations by a user community
* a possible specification of a standards-based public registry or=20
repository for such DITA specializations or a method for creating or=20
federating such resources

The TC may consider the creation of subcommittees where there is an=20
immediate interest in developing specialized extensions, but it is also=20
anticipated that such extensions could be adopted locally and informally =

within specific information exchange communities

One year after producing the first DITA Committee Draft, the TC will=20
produce a new major revision of DITA including

* evolution of the DITA architecture to address issues such as=20
namespaces, type unification, extension by addition, and extensible=20
* formal specifications of all aspects of the DITA architecture with=20
primers, use cases, and scenarios
* maintenance of the earlier DITA types
* addition to the base specification of those new DITA information types =

that appear from specialized uses to have general utility
* a continuing methodology for the harvesting and incorporation of=20
additional, useful types into the base specification

Anticipated Audience

* Writers of other specifications that could benefit from DITAs=20
specialization model or other aspects of its architecture;
* Vendors offering XML authoring or development products;
* XML architects and developers who design and write XML applications;
* Information developers and information architects



The following is non-normative text for the purpose of setting up the =

Identification of similar or applicable work

DITA is an enabling technology that has potential relationships with=20
many other activities. It is compatible with ISO topic maps, although=20
DITA=92s use of the word =93topic=94 is considerably more constrained =
than in=20
that standard, and DITA maps use structuring principles specifically=20
designed to support specialization. It supports semantic web=20
initiatives, inasmuch as DITA both enables rich semantic markup and=20
provides a taxonomy for semantics through its type and domain=20
hierarchies. It is compatible with ontological efforts in general,=20
inasmuch as DITA maps are a way of describing the relationships among=20
topics, and can be used to describe multiple ontologies across the same=20
topic sets.

Because DITA is a constrained architecture dealing specifically with=20
topics and relationships among topics, it does not directly impact more=20
general activities. However, DITA topics are ideal candidates for=20
participation in semantic web relationships, and DITA maps can be=20
excellent sources for the description of these relationships.

The work of the OASIS DocBook TC is similar or applicable.

The proposed work is different from DocBook in that DITA is=20
topic-oriented, which lends itself to different uses than DocBook. Topic =

orientation allows the separation of content (specific topics) from=20
context (including links to other topics, context-specific metadata,=20
navigation, and print hierarchies.

The DITA TC will identify liaisons with other committees or groups doing =

related work to investigate points of common interest. Additionally, the =

TC may have some coordinated activities with the DocBook TC focusing on=20
interoperability of content in the two formats.

Optionally, a list of contributions of existing technical work

The proposers anticipate that IBM will contribute a starter set of=20
information types, formal definitions of four domains, five document=20
types, two maps, and several common modules.

See the table below for a list of the current DITA DTDs, schemas, and=20
related documentation. Additional information concerning these=20
materials, along with some IBM proprietary materials that are not being=20
contributed, can be found at=20
http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-dita1/index.html .

Other contributions within the scope of the TC will also be considered.

The date and time of the first meeting

4 May 2004, 11am ET, a teleconference to be hosted by IBM

The projected on-going meeting schedule

11 EST each Tuesday for 1 hour, for the year following formation of the=20
TC; hosted by IBM


Paul Grosso <pgrosso@arbortext.com>,  Arbortext
Indi Liepa <indi.liepa@nokia.com>, Nokia
Eliot Kimber <ekimber@innodata-isogen.com>, Innodata-ISOGEN
Don Day <dond@us.ibm.com>, IBM
Michael Priestley <mpriestl@ca.ibm.com>, IBM
France Baril <France.Baril@ixiasoft.com>, individual
JoAnn Hackos <JoAnn.Hackos@Comtech-Serv.com>, individual
Debbie Aleyne Lapeyre <dalapeyre@mulberrytech.com>, individual
Dave Schell <dschell@us.ibm.com>, IBM
Paul Antonov <apg@syntext.com>, individual

TC Convener

Dave Schell

Proposed Chair

Don Day

Attachment: Table of current DITA DTDs, schemas, and related =

                    Unit DTDs                Schemas
                    -------------------      ----------------
Information types	=09
   topic            topic.mod                topic.mod
   concept          concept.mod              concept.mod
   task             task.mod                 task.mod
   reference        reference.mod            reference.mod

Domains	=09
   highlighting     highlight-domain.mod     highlight-domain.mod
   programming      programming-domain.mod   programming-domain.mod
   software         software-domain.mod      software-domain.mod
   user interfaces  ui-domain.mod            ui-domain.mod

Document types
(integrate domains and information types)	=09
   topics           topics.dtd               topic.xsd
   concepts         concept.dtd              concept.xsd
   tasks            tasks.dtd                tasks.xsd
   reference        reference.dtd            reference.xsd
   mixed            ditibase.dtd             ditabase.xsd

Maps	=09
   base             map.dtd=09
   book-specialized book.dtd=09

Common modules	=09
   metadata         meta_xml.mod             meta_xml.mod
   CALS tables      tbl_xml.mod              tbl_xml.mod
   standard XML attributes                   xml.xsd

Related documentation:

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