Thursday, August 31, 2006

Calling all Learning and Instructional Design experts!

The DITA Learning Content subcommittee wants you!

We are looking for experts in the eLearning and instructional design world to participate as guests, observers or members of the subcommittee to help create a learning specialization of DITA.

From our charter, here are our anticipated goals and work products:

  1. Develop a general top-level design for structured, intent-based authoring of learning content with good learning architecture, following DITA principles and best practices. Such a design would build on past work on topic-based content, reusable learning objects, and the learning content types needed to support them. Some specifics of a DITA design for learning content include:
    1. learning types, including assessments and exercises
    2. a map domain for structuring and managing the learning types as reusable learning objects
    3. linking, relationships, and simple sequencing
    4. interactions
    5. style policies for learning content
    6. dynamic sequencing.
  2. Establish guidelines that promote best practices for applying standard DITA approaches to learning content, which include:
    1. separation of presentation and content (as much as possible)
    2. separation of content and context
    3. single sourcing, repurposing, and reuse.
  3. Develop support for processing DITA for general delivery as learning and training, including print and presentation delivery to support instructor-led training (ILT), web delivery for distance learning, and computer-based training delivery in general.
  4. Develop targeted support for processing DITA learning content for delivery with standards-based learning, specifically targeting SCORM and QTI. Specifically, extend DITA processing to support basic SCORM sequencing, interactions, and required SCORM LMS runtime behaviors. Leverage QTI behaviors to drive the interactions. Address the issue of "levels" from a simple implementation to full SCORM and beyond.
  5. Build on existing DITA infrastructure (editors, CMS, transforms) as much as possible so learning content developers do not have to start from scratch.
Work products - First phase of this activity
  • Task 1: 1 month on review of structured designs for learning and how to apply DITA principles and best practices.
  • Task 2: 1 month on developing a top-level plan for map a DITA specialization for learning content, including identifying the learning types, map domains, content domains, and processing support needed to support the design.
  • Task 3: X months on developing DITA schemas and processing, and piloting and validating the top-level designs against sample content.
  • Task 4: 1 month on reviewing the pilot, writing and reviewing a progress report. Close this phase of the activity with a progress report to the TC, with recommended next steps.

If you are interested, please contact or myself, or visit

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Scotland Bound!

Flags of Scotland

My wife and I are headed for Scotland tomorrow for two weeks!

Thanks a lot STUPID FREAKING TERRORISTS! I get to carry on my wallet. No iPod, no books, nuthin. And we had planned to travel the entire trip via carry ons so they wouldn't lose our luggage. Now they might lose my iPod, camera, video camera, travel vouchers and maps in my checked bag, and I'll look EVEN MORE like a clueless American!

We bought an iPod Video as an early 10th Anniversary gift this year in anticipation of the long flight over, and as a storage medium for our digital photos (when my SD cards got full). Now, we'll only get to use it for the photos, assuming they don't lose it all...

If I ever find Bin Laden or any of his evil followers, they're going to get a Sgian Dubh where it counts... Oh, wait, I can't carry that on a flight either!

At this point, Scotland the Brave is going to mean "braving the security lines and restrictions". It's worth it though: I hope they catch every one of those wicked blokes quickly -- and I STILL get to go to Scotland!


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tracking your inventory with Delicious Library

I found out about Delicious Library from Rich Burridge.

I don't even have an iSight camera, but was still able to manually enter the ISBN or UPC code. The app automatically switched context of which code you need to enter, depending on whether you were adding a book, CD, Movie (DVD or VHS), or video game!

There is a separate app that will export your iTunes to Delicious Library, called DeliciTunes.

This would be a great way to track your inventory for insurance reporting purposes. I could even see applying this to other kinds of items, such as Star Wars figures, that might still be MIB (Mint In Box) that you could scan the barcode and track! It would be nice if this app was configurable to add other types of collections, defaulting to UPC code, so you could track collections like this.

UPDATE: There's a cool easter egg! When you add a Star Wars title to your collection, after the app reads the title to you, a few seconds later, a deep whisper says "I am your father!". Nice touch! It would be cool if it also said "He's dead, Jim" or even better, "She 'canna take much more, Captain!" when you add Star Trek titles. :-)

UPDATE: Woohoo! I hooked up my Sony Handycam DCR-HC30 via firewire, and now I can use the barcode scanner! SWEET app!


Woodstox 3.0 released!

Tatu Saloranta has released the 3.0 version of the Woodstox XML parser. Woodstox is a StAX-compliant, open-source, Java-based XML parser. It's fast, too!

My favorite new feature is the rewritten validation sub-system, along with a new validator implementation for Relax NG.

I also like the different operating modes:

Additional operating modes: parsing mode (tree [default], forest, fragment); ability to handle undeclared entities gracefully (in non-entity-expanding mode).

More information on Woodstox can be found at: The parser can be downloaded from:

Great work, Tatu!


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Publick House

Since 1771! Had a great dinner here tonight. I love the history in here, and plenty of great food. I highly recommend the seasonal blueberry cream pie!

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