This page is for members to brainstorming, discuss, and vote on items for a mission statement for OASIS-sponsored DITA adoption websites.
The discussion began as a mission statement for dita.xml.org, however we extended the scope of this discussion to not limit discussion to the existing boundaries of dita.xml.org. We can contemplate, for example, having different sites for different subject areas that are currently covered by dita.xml.org, if doing so is what is best for the DITA community and is feasible to implement and maintain. Also let's make this exercise prescriptive rather than descriptive. I.e. let's discuss the goals that we want the site to achieve rather simply describe what it already does.
Please create a new section for your views on the following questions:
1) Who is our intended audience?
2) What is suitable content for OASIS-sponsored DITA adoption websites?
3) What is NOT suitable content for OASIS-sponsored DITA adoption websites?
4) What kind of content development most needs a major *centralized* effort, as opposed to effort from individuals? Identify your one or two top priorities.
Who is our intended audience?
OASIS-sponsored DITA adoption websites are primarily intended to help current and potential adopters successfully adopt DITA. DITA application vendors, Technical Committee members, and Open Toolkit developers are secondary audiences, but the needs of DITA adopters come first.
What is suitable content for OASIS-sponsored DITA adoption websites (in priority order from most important to least)?
1) Descriptions of DITA features, elements, and attributes that are more user-friendly than the explanations in the official DITA specifications. Use additional examples to make it easier to understand what different element types are for, and how they are likely to be processed. We've started doing this kind of thing for DITA 1.2, but not systematically for DITA 1.1.
2) Contact information for regional user groups.
3) Up-to-date user documentation for using and customizing the DITA Open Toolkit. Take the Open Toolkit user guide and make it up-to-date.
4) Sample content and markup examples: Many people learn well by imitating realistic, high-quality examples of DITA topic writing.
5) Information about who is using DITA and for what types of documents.
6) Information about implementing DITA, e.g. information modelling, conversion, tool selection.
7) Concrete ideas for using DITA features to solve realistic problems, e.g. how to implement a "variables" feature
8) Stories about actual DITA implementations.
9) Product reviews
10) Calendar of events
What is NOT suitable content?
1) Repository of proposed specifications for the DITA Open Toolkit
2) Advertising. Our site(s) might link to press releases and promotional web pages, but should not duplicate large amounts of promotional material. Duplication of content that is available elsewhere is not helpful, and may hinder adoption by increasing confusion and noise. There is a gray area between blatant advertising and useful neutrally-written information; we will have to figure out how to draw the line. The point here is that we do not deliberately intend for our websites to be a repository for advertising.
What kind of content development most needs a major centralized effort? - In my opinion, "Descriptions of DITA features, elements, and attributes that are more user-friendly than the explanations in the official DITA specifications." is where we most need a centralized effort. The other things can be managed by passionate individuals or vendors. "Up-to-date user documentation for using and customizing the DITA Open Toolkit" would also benefit from a centralized effort, however as others have pointed out the Open Toolkit is not interesting to everyone in the DITA community, although it is important.
(Note: In my email from March 9 I had priorities 1 and 2 switched).