Re: DITA: Fifteen(+) years old #history

Rodolfo M. Raya

Hi Kris,

As an early adopter (from before IBM donated it to OASIS), I can tell you that DITA fulfilled its promises and today it is even better now than in the old days.

As time passed, the standard slowly grew and improved. The need for revisionism came and a much needed lighter version was drafted. There, in my opinion, appeared a problem when writing DITA stopped being an XML only thing. I personally don't like the idea of writing DITA in MarkDown or HTML5. Markdown is a great thing and HTML5 is also a great standard, but XML is a format much better defined for documents that need parsing and further processing before publishing.

DITA adoption is too tied to the DITA Open Toolkit. There are other processors out there but somehow the dependency on the Open Toolkit became generalized. In my view, this has been an obstacle for further adoption.

Your email made me realize that we owe a big thank you to IBM for opening DITA and another big thank you to OASIS for hosting it. 

A bigger thanks to the different chairs of the DITA TC and its siblings for a job well done.

Rodolfo M. Raya

On Sun, Nov 17, 2019 at 12:34 PM Kristen James Eberlein <kris@...> wrote:
It's been 15 years since DITA was donated to OASIS, and next May will be
the 15th anniversary of DITA's release as a standard.

I think it's fair to say that DITA is no longer a "shiny, new thing" but
instead a mature XML architecture.

For those folks who've been around for a while, how well do you think
DITA has lived up to its early claims? Has it addressed problems that it
was designed to solve? Have other problems emerged? How is the landscape
different in 2019 than it was in 2004?


Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting
+1 919 622-1501; kriseberlein (skype)

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