Sorry I haven’t posted for a while — have been fiendishly busy developing and teaching a customized course on DITA and a CMS to folks in the U.K. and India on behalf of Mekon. Am on a brief break before I head to Montreal for a conference (more on that tomorrow!) and then on to Austin, TX, then back to the U.K. Have learned a lot and have plenty of DITA-related topics to talk about, but I thought I ought to highlight an important survey on DITA usage that is currently going on.
I ran across an announcement that the DITA-OT development team is hosting a survey. In their own words, they want to:
…provide information to the DITA-OT development team on the usage of DITA-OT. The target users for the survey is groups and companies that use DITA-OT in production use.
The DITA-OT developers are clearly trying to find out which features are being most used, and how often people update their software, so that they can determine how to best spend their limited time and resources. Some of the wording is a bit clunky (such as “Approximately how large input sets do you use?” which I think is asking users how may topics they have in a typical DITA publication). I also wish they had provided more information in some places, as I am betting anyone who hasn’t actually installed DITA-OT — but are using it in a shared environment — would know how to find out which version of the DITA-OT is being run, or which XSLT processor is being called at output. The final question is particularly interesting, since it pointedly asks which features of the DITA-OT (like conrefs, conkeyrefs, relationship tables, conditions, etc) are actually being used. It’ll be very interesting to see if the results of this survey are made public.
It is clearly worth spreading the word about this particular survey, since your answers will affect what the DITA-OT developers will concentrate their future efforts on. Contribute your own answers on DITA-OT usage to the survey, and tell your colleagues!