DITA for Technical Standards (DTS)

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This is a proposed new subcommittee for enhancing DITA for use with standards development and publishing - 'A Standard for Standards'


The purpose of this subcommittee is to further the capabilities of the OASIS DITA standards to define, maintain, and promote the use of DITA for the creation, maintenance, and support of technical standards specifications – ‘a standard for technical standards’. There are thousands of technical standards -some developed by formal standards organizations, some by informalassociations, and others by individual organizations or consortia - many (all) ofwhich could benefit from a common standard for the creation and publication oftheir technical standards specifications.  

The principle benefits expected would be two fold; first a toolset that will reduce the time to develop standards, promote reuse, and greaterconsistency in their standards.  For implementers, the benefits will be significant as well affording them a familiar common format and structure, ability to reuse content acrossstandards, and potentially to develop their own specific implementation specifications leveraging the standards they are using.

The first effort will be to assess and define common requirements forthe maintenance and publication of technical standards. This will provide thecommon requirements for the specific capabilities that DITA should provide. Finally the group will create necessary enhancements to DITA standard and deliverables,including the DITA Open Toolkit with a Toolkit for Technical Specifications.

Desired capabilities include;

·        Provide a ready-to-use, well designed,best-of-breed DITA toolset for maintaining and publishing  various technical standards for use bytechnical standards development organizations (SDO) and Standards SettingOrganizations (SSO) as well as any other organization desiring a common methodfor creating their technical standards & specifications , making it faster,easier and more reliable to produce technical specifications,

·        Provide reuse of technical standard content sothat common elements (topics) may be reused and provide a single normativesource of informational elements across multiple technical standards (forexample share common elements of SAML Spec and EML Spec),

·        Provide technical standards producers with theability to publish in formats readily accessible to both human and machineconsumption; including various human readable documents types (e.g. PDF, CHM,UML) as well  as machine readabledocument types (e.g. schema/XSD, RDF, XMI) both coming from a single commonnormative source (topic),  providingability to standardize specification deliverables in common and consistentformats across multiple standards, 

·        Provide a common glossary, set of common topics,for defining technical specifications so that within and across various standardsorganizations there may be relevant cross-use standards components (topics)amongst themselves (e.g.  if appropriateintegrating an authoritative list of nations into a business technicalspecification that requires a nation enumeration),

·        Provide tools to support complimentarydevelopment support processes in standards production including in addition tostandard creation; ballot review, ballot production, voting history and versioning,

·        Leverage the other inherent capabilities andobjectives of DITA for the production of technical standards specification. 

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