Comments about the focus area: dita.xml.org
Use this page to add comments about the focus. Please include your name and the date.
Kristen James Eberlein
10 September 2008
- Require permission to start a blog. This will help us avoid spam and blogs that contain only one entry, usually a question that would have been better posted to the dita-users group.
- Consider removing the forum area. I have not yet read through all the entries, but I am guessing that most of the content would be better handled on the dita-users mailing list.
- Make the home page more static
- Provide clear guidance to contributors about how to contribute content -- and what content is appropriate for the different pages.
- Document the role and responsibility of the subcommittee to make it easier for new members to join the subcommittee and fruitfully participate
10 September 2008
- I agree with removing the forum area.
- Consolidate the Resources area into the knowledgebase.
Eliminate the Drupal "book" feature. A "book" in Drupal is a collection of pages with a hierarchical structure (http://drupal.org/handbook/modules/book). For the kind of content we have, the concept has caused a lot of confusion for both readers and contributors. I think we would be better off if we just had a bunch of non-hierarchical pages like Wikipedia.
Many URLs are not meaningful. Can we implement readable URLs (http://drupal.org/handbook/modules/path)? Note that in MediaWiki software, URLs are always meaningful, even after page titles change (See http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2006/09/15/Wikipedia).
Super-geeky pages like this http://dita.xml.org/wiki/design-for-implementing-oasis-item-12048 with no context.
- Need to encourage good practices for writing page titles and short descriptions. We have a lot of these super-geeky pages with no context...
Need a place to develop good practices for things like writing page titles. The English Wikipedia has an entire namespace devoted to "backstage" pages which are not encyclopedia articles. E.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style . Can we have a namespace like this in dita.xml.org?
- Should the super-geeky pages about developers' plans for Open Toolkit bug fixes be on dita.xml.org at all? IMHO we need stricter inclusion criteria and reserve dita.xml.org for information that is useful for a general audience.
- I like having fresh content on the main page, however there are some problems with the current implementation of it. Forum posts should never be pushed to the main page - we basically end up with a stream of context-free questions with no answers in a very prominent location.
- The main reason I think of merging the Resources area into the Knowledgebase and not the other way around is that the Knowledgebase is organized by what the content is about, whereas the Resources area is organized by the formats in which content is delivered. If I have a question about DITA, for example, "What is coming up in DITA 1.2?" the options in the Resources area are Case Studies, Websites, Articles, Publications, Mail Lists and Forums, Presentations, Other Materials, and Sample Documents." This is no use for me at all, because any of these options, except case studies and sample documents, are equally likely to contain the best answer. It goes against the spirit of DITA and XML to organize content according to delivery medium rather than meaning.
11, 14, 16 September 2008
DITA Wiki Knowledgebase - OASIS TCs. The Adoption TC should have a page somewhere in the Wiki. The DITA TC & sub-TCs have pages under 'DITA Standards Development'. This is not appropriate for the Adoption TC, so I suggest a revised high level heading of 'OASIS Technical Committees' and re-organise these sections.
- Categories. This is potentially a very powerful feature to provide cross site navigation by tagging content across the different areas. At present it's a complete mess as there is no order to the tagging system. Is it possible to define and control the tags?
Blogs. Compare these sub-directories: http://dita.xml.org/blog and http://dita.xml.org/blogroll. The 2 lists are confusing. I like the idea of both hosting blogs on the site, and linking to external blogs. This needs better organising, and some clear way of indicating 'internal' and 'external' blogs.
- Navigation. The single biggest bug-bear on the site! Docbook.org manages this better with a 2 level bar across the top of the page.
Forums & List. Concur with closing the Forums down. Is there any useful content which can be salvaged and re-cycled into the Wiki? There needs to be a page with details of the email list and joining instructions. There is email@example.com which currently has virtually nil traffic.
- Static Content, Drupal Book, DITA Wiki. I agree about not liking the style of the Drupal Book, but I'm not sure about moving to a Wikipedia style system. We need to have some semi-static content which provides a comprehensive and consistent message about DITA. The home page should have jumping off points into this content, as well as including the dynamic stuff. No reason why we shouldn't approach key folk for article contributions, however, cf. comment on attributions.
- Meta data. NO keywords! NO description! I can't believe how this site gets virtually to the top of Google rankings for 'dita' without this basic SEO stuff! I'm quite shocked! The point is, the site should ideally come high in the rankings for terms like 'minimalism', etc., etc.
- Attribution. Whilst it is very useful to know who has contributed an article, it seems peculiar when someone else modifies it and the attribution is moved to them. I do appreciate the revision history is available.
Users & Permissions. We need to be clear about the permissions for the 4 categories of User: OASIS staff, Editorial Board members, OASIS members, DITA Community.
Uber-Geek Wiki pages. These guys clearly need somewhere to post their comments and garner feedback, but I agree dita.xml.org isn't necessarily it. The SourceForge area for the Toolkit does have a Wiki. The role of dita.xml.org should be to signpost the way to both the SourceForge and OASIS TC areas, and to promote participation in all these activities.
- Toolkit Documentation. In due course, I'd like to see this as part of the site.
- Resources. I'd love to see more resources directly available for download, and less of a portal - specialisations, transforms, tutorials, case studies, white papers, etc. There were recent hosting issues with both the Lone DITA Tutorial and Eliot's Specialisation Tutorial.
- Sponsors. Can these be moved as it wastes quite a lot of space having them where they are?
- DITA! We need to be aware that DITA means different things to different folk. This could, potentially, lead to unwanted attention on the site. I'm not suggesting we need to adopt any special measures, simply to have this at the back of our minds.
September 15, 2008
Ideally, it will be great if we could have the Forums set up in such as way that they could do 2-way cross posting with those most popular existing mailing lists, such as dita-users (for general users) and Dita-ot-developer (for the geeks). I know that one can do that in Mailman, but not sure if Drupal has this feature readily available.
- Instead of consolidating the Resources area into Knowledgebase, I would prefer to remove the Knowledgebase area all together by moving its content to specific areas (including Resources for sure). In my view, the entire dita.xml.org website is a "knowledge base" which is then organized in terms of a number of more specific areas as evident from the navigation tabs.
- I agree that Categories should be well defined and more structured like a multi-level taxonomy. The current view of Categories is really a "tag cloud" which can be generated by flattening out the Categories taxonomy and using the font size to reflect the number of entries.