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Namespaces when Specializing

To make it easier for information architects who are creating specializations, it helps to have guidelines for specializers.

This guideline speaks in favor of creating a distinctive namespace for the new identifiers in a specialized module. It explains how to do so, and some of the consequences.

The content is based on an e-mail message from Eliot Kimber on February 8, 2006 to the mailing list of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee. Note: this was written quickly, for a language design discussion. Suggestion: edit for a less conversational style.

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Guidelines for Specializers

These guidelines are primarily for information architects who are considering adding to the pool of DITA Specializations. Please add your own suggestions, marking with "Suggestion:" any contributions that you believe the community might need to come to consensus on.

Several categories of information are relevant:

  • What a specializer needs to know about modules in DITA
  • Where existing modules are catalogued

Some special topics are also provided:

 

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Blast Radius

"While DITA was conceived for tech pubs, its benefits make it well-suited for other types of content, particularly the kinds of granular, customer-facing content that we typically see on the web.   For example, product or services descriptions, reviews, and FAQs are inherently topic-oriented, but today are implemented in ad hoc or proprietary formats. Companies can benefit using DITA specializations for these types of content through streamlined flow of content within and across enterprises and between systems, and the lower costs of localization.  And because of these benefits, we expect to see DITA applied to a number of scenarios, such as e-Learning, CRM, and e-Service.  We may even see industry-specific DITA specializations for enabling unstructured content interchange between trading partners, such as the syndication of product descriptions between manufacturers and retailers."

-- Paul Wlodarczyk, Director, ECM Strategy, Blast Radius Inc.

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