18 Jun 2015

I’ve been working with DITA for more than 10 years and before that worked on proprietary vocabularies. In each case the implementation picture is pretty much the same: authors use an editor, content is stored in a CMS, and deliverables are published using a set of conversion. Editors and the content storage system have always required configuration and integration, but most of the code written has gone into the conversion and the environment that handles the publishing process. I call this the “publishing server” or “publishing service”, and I’ve written one from scratch and done further development on a few. I’d like to write yet another one, for DITA-OT.

The biggest reason for wanting to implement a conversion service for DITA-OT is that I think the world needs one. All DITA enables content stores already have some method for publishing content, but that part is probably not their core focus area and the features that make users happier are probably not in the details of the publishing system. On the other end, small teams working without a CMS need to handle publishing locally, either from their editor or the command line, and that seems to a pain point if you read the questions on DITA Users mailing list. Being able to use existing code that handles all of that would save both money and time.

I’d really like to implement this, but I’ve already got far more spare-time OSS work that I can manage. I could take a year or so off working on DITA-OT and just focus on this, but it’s a “risk” I’d rather not take and I think my efforts are still needed for DITA-OT itself. So now I’d need to find someone to finance this work. I’d be willing to work on this as a closed source project and just work as a consultant, but I’d much rather have it be released as open source project to benefit the community and get more parties involved.