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Friday, December 14, 2007

DITA Specialization Support: It Should Just Work

DITA's specialization mechanism both enables sophisticated generic
processing and effectively demands that tools provide it. That is,
when presented with valid, conforming DITA documents, tools should
"just work," applying all appropriate default DITA processing and
behavior without any up-front configuration (with the possible exception
of specifying the entity resolution catalog needed to resolve references
to DTDs and schemas). Not many tools beyond the DITA Open Toolkit
actually do just work. RSuite does. In particular, it uses the DITA
1.1 DITAArchVersion attribute to reliably detect DITA documents
regardless of what local declaration set or specializations they use.
As both an integrator and a provider of a tool designed to be integrated
those tools that also just work offer the greatest value to me as an
integrator and service provider. I would like to see all DITA-aware
tools provide the same level of automatic configuration and processing.

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