Topics

Are you using <data-about>?


Kristen James Eberlein
 

At today's DITA Technical Committee meeting, we discussed the possibility of removing <data-about> from DITA 2.0. The rationale for removal is:

  • The spec element-reference topic is extremely convoluted. Neither spec editors (Robert Anderson and I) has been able to rework it and make it comprehensible.
  • There is nothing done with <data-about> that cannot be done with <data>.
  • We suspect that the element is little used -- and if used, is usually misused.

So, our query to the larger DITA-using community:

  • Does your implementation use the <data-about> element?
  • (If the <data-about> element is used) What are the use cases for <data-about>? Please note that these should be actual, not theoretical.

As always, thanks for your participation in the dita-users list.

--
Best,
Kris

Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
OASIS Distinguished Contributor
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting LLC
www.eberleinconsulting.com
+1 919 622-1501; kriseberlein (skype)


Lionel Moizeau
 

Hi 
I do not, I was actually wondering what it was for...

Lionel Moizeau

On Tue, Sep 1, 2020 at 11:24 PM Kristen James Eberlein <kris@...> wrote:

At today's DITA Technical Committee meeting, we discussed the possibility of removing <data-about> from DITA 2.0. The rationale for removal is:

  • The spec element-reference topic is extremely convoluted. Neither spec editors (Robert Anderson and I) has been able to rework it and make it comprehensible.
  • There is nothing done with <data-about> that cannot be done with <data>.
  • We suspect that the element is little used -- and if used, is usually misused.

So, our query to the larger DITA-using community:

  • Does your implementation use the <data-about> element?
  • (If the <data-about> element is used) What are the use cases for <data-about>? Please note that these should be actual, not theoretical.

As always, thanks for your participation in the dita-users list.

--
Best,
Kris

Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
OASIS Distinguished Contributor
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting LLC
www.eberleinconsulting.com
+1 919 622-1501; kriseberlein (skype)


ekimber@contrext.com
 

I have never used data-about, even when I thought it would be a useful thing to do.

Basically, the authoring overhead required to make the authoring of data-about practical coupled with the need to implement whatever data-about processing you might need means that the implementation cost almost (or always) outweighs any potential value from a metadata representation standpoint.

In addition, because the TC has expanded the places where <data> is allowed, it's largely removed the need to be able to point at something within a topic or map in order to impose metadata on to it (the intended purpose of data-about).

I can imagine some use case where you might want to use DITA to impose metadata onto non-DITA objects but doing so with DITA and data-about would be so one-off and outside the mainstream of any existing metadata infrastructure that I can't see it ever being done. And even without data-about you can get the same effect with topicrefs that contain the metadata they want to impose (which is basically what subject scheme does).

I think data-about falls into the category of DITA features that were a good idea at the time or were suggested by design symmetry and completeness but where overtaken by practical realities and other technologies.

Cheers,

E.

--
Eliot Kimber
http://contrext.com


On 9/1/20, 4:24 PM, "Kristen James Eberlein" <main@dita-users.groups.io on behalf of @keberlein> wrote:







At today's DITA Technical Committee meeting, we discussed the
possibility of removing <data-about> from DITA 2.0. The
rationale for removal is:


* The spec element-reference topic is extremely convoluted.
Neither spec editors (Robert Anderson and I) has been able to
rework it and make it comprehensible.

* There is nothing done with <data-about> that cannot be
done with <data>.

* We suspect that the element is little used -- and if used, is
usually misused.


So, our query to the larger DITA-using community:


* Does your implementation use the <data-about> element?

* (If the <data-about> element is used) What are the use
cases for <data-about>? Please note that these should be
actual, not theoretical.


As always, thanks for your participation in the dita-users list.

--
Best,
Kris

Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
OASIS Distinguished Contributor
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting LLC
www.eberleinconsulting.com <http://www.eberleinconsulting.com>
+1 919 622-1501; kriseberlein (skype)


glenn emerson
 

I’ve never used it either, though I have used <data> quite a bit.

On Sep 1, 2020, at 5:02 PM, ekimber@... wrote:

I have never used data-about, even when I thought it would be a useful thing to do.

Basically, the authoring overhead required to make the authoring of data-about practical coupled with the need to implement whatever data-about processing you might need means that the implementation cost almost (or always) outweighs any potential value from a metadata representation standpoint.

In addition, because the TC has expanded the places where <data> is allowed, it's largely removed the need to be able to point at something within a topic or map in order to impose metadata on to it (the intended purpose of data-about).

I can imagine some use case where you might want to use DITA to impose metadata onto non-DITA objects but doing so with DITA and data-about would be so one-off and outside the mainstream of any existing metadata infrastructure that I can't see it ever being done. And even without data-about you can get the same effect with topicrefs that contain the metadata they want to impose (which is basically what subject scheme does).

I think data-about falls into the category of DITA features that were a good idea at the time or were suggested by design symmetry and completeness but where overtaken by practical realities and other technologies.

Cheers,

E.

--
Eliot Kimber
http://contrext.com


On 9/1/20, 4:24 PM, "Kristen James Eberlein" <main@dita-users.groups.io on behalf of @keberlein> wrote:







At today's DITA Technical Committee meeting, we discussed the
possibility of removing <data-about> from DITA 2.0. The
rationale for removal is:


* The spec element-reference topic is extremely convoluted.
Neither spec editors (Robert Anderson and I) has been able to
rework it and make it comprehensible.

* There is nothing done with <data-about> that cannot be
done with <data>.

* We suspect that the element is little used -- and if used, is
usually misused.


So, our query to the larger DITA-using community:


* Does your implementation use the <data-about> element?

* (If the <data-about> element is used) What are the use
cases for <data-about>? Please note that these should be
actual, not theoretical.


As always, thanks for your participation in the dita-users list.

--
Best,
Kris

Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
OASIS Distinguished Contributor
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting LLC
www.eberleinconsulting.com <http://www.eberleinconsulting.com>
+1 919 622-1501; kriseberlein (skype)











stinakab
 

Hi Kris,

We have no use case for <data-about>, so we don't need it.

Best,
Christina