CMS/DITA North America, Day 1

A very interesting first day. Some quick notes:

  • Proposal for a DITA TC subcommittee on pharmaceutical content - with a long list of tentative participants. Great to have another solid piece of evidence that DITA is making the move beyond tech comm, and that the DITA community is continuing the trend of use/extend/standardize, instead of just use/extend.
  • Proposal for another subcommittee for tech comm - as DITA gets picked up in new areas, we don't want to lose the focus on tech comm uses, so forming a subcommittee to give that focus an explicit home makes a lot of sense.
  • Several presentations on DITA and data mashups, including real-world experience with product catalogs, and a prototype for semiconductor docs and data. Result: a proposal for a new subcommittee on DITA for Mashups, so we can share best practices and standardize approaches across industries.
  • And a couple of presentations on simplification of DITA to allow for the easy contribution of searchable/filterable content by non-expert authors - either using a simplified DTD/schema, or even just a set of style rules and an export function... I'll admit to being nervous about the second one, since I think there are real advantages to having a schema-encoded set of rules (like a DTD) instead of just constraints or guidelines specific to a single authoring tool.
  • I presented on our SOA-approach to DITA application and repository integration, with our native DITA wiki as a real-world use case... We'll be demoing it on day 3, and I look forward to more reactions/feedback.
  • Finally just a note of appreciation for the attendees - every session I attended had tons of audience questions and discussion. It didn't matter how long there was for Q&A (ten minutes, twenty...) it was always filled, with discussion continuing into breaks. This is a smart crowd!

Back to it,

--MP Focus Areas: BPEL | DITA | ebXML | IDtrust | OpenDocument | SAML | UBL | UDDI
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