Bernard wrote: > I generally have to agree with what is written below, but I have to take a > minor exception on (a) regarding 'the line that you can do it with DITA or > DocBook'. Out of the box does a good job, but unfortunately the 'good job' > is at scaring people away.
I consider DITA to be an interchange format. If two organisations can figure out how to convert their own structure to and from DITA, they can freely exchange data. Add five more organisations and impose the same requirement on them and everyone can exchange data, whereas in the past, each organisation would have to code the conversion for all of their data partners. This is very powerful and very useful, but it doesn't replace the structure that the organisations use on their own side. The long and short of it is that saying "our data can be characterised by nested blocks" is not a replacement for analysis of a dataset. The more generic the structure you use, the less representative it is of your particular dataset. The more you customise the generic structure, the less interoperable it is with tools and the less you're able to interchange meaningfully with partners who require your data anyway. Proper analysis and structure design should be a selfish exercise. You can always develop an interchange strategy down the track - all you're ever going to have to do is map your structure into something that someone else can use. First priority is to develop a structure that satisfies your own needs, not those with whom you intend to trade data. DITA is fine, but it frequently gets mispositioned, IMHO. I do try to scare people away from misusing it - that's true... ;-) Marcus