DITA Conformance

Self on Help

Thoughts from the OASIS DITA Help Subcommittee Chair

There has been some renewed discussion within the DITA Technical Committee on what it means to be "DITA conformant". It is timely that this topic has been resurrected, because many Help Authoring Tools are now claiming DITA support of some sort or another. A draft clause in the DITA 1.2 specification proposes that tools claiming DITA support must provide a conformance statement listing what DITA features they actually implement. In addition, implementation types are proposed; for a tool to be DITA conformant for a type, it has to implement all the required features of that type. Tools must also support inter-operability, which is the idea of a standard anyway.

I think this formalisation of what "supports DITA" really means is a much-need step forward. It is currently difficult for a Help author wanting to move to DITA to understand what tools truly support the features that have attracted them to DITA in the first place!

This is a great idea I think. But how this "MUST" can be enforced on tool providers? Will it mean that any tools supporting DITA 1.2 have to provide "supports DITA" clause according to some kind of license agreement?

Alexey Spas | Senior IT Manager

Phone +49 (0)711-993385 94
Fax +49 (0)711-993385 99
Blog:<a href="http://blog.ditaworks.com/">blog.ditaworks.com</a>

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