The Red Lines Page

April 1, 2010


Filed under: April Fool,Technology — Peter A @ 12:10 am

OASIS DITA Technical Committee will today approve an interim renaming of the XML-DITA standard. “Following a successful court case brought by a fundamentalist religious group in the U.S.,” said Susan Denim of the committee, “we are obliged to accept a revision to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture nomenclature. We’ve been instructed that DITA cannot be said to have evolved in a Darwinian way. We’re frustrated, obviously, but the court ruling clearly directs us to accept that the standard is the product of intelligent design.”

“It’s obvious,” reported the plaintiff, a delighted Rev. Josie Watt-Ardeed. “XML is not an undirected series of actions, and therefore cannot uncouple itself from a creationist process. The entire terminology of the so-called XML-DITA points to a teleological argument for the existence of a central creator. I mean, it’s not called ‘single source’ for nothing. The whole Darwin thing is clearly a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. And I’m not talking about a filetype:xml clause, do you know what I’m saying?”

Not all former-DITA specialists are so phlegmatic. An unnamed high-placed IBMer wrote on a personal blog: “This wasn’t the kind of constraint I was expecting. This ruling tears apart my whole conceptual data model. If you ask me, the output is PDF — Pretty D*mn Foolish.” He was subsequently obliged to withdraw this remark for the use of an unresolved reference.

OASIS are now frantically drafting a workable alternative, expected to be published by the end of this year and formalised by 2015. The initial draft is “Architecture-proof Relationship Indication Language”, or “ApRIL (1st)“.

April 1st p.m. updated to add:  Check out some others on TechCrunch.


  1. Brilliant!

    Comment by Larry Kunz — April 1, 2010 @ 1:24 pm | Reply

  2. Peter, this is great! I’m rolling over here.

    Comment by Julio Vazquez — April 1, 2010 @ 2:16 pm | Reply

  3. Peter, I didn’t know you ghost-penned for Ship of Fools!

    As one of the approvers of the original name, I felt that obvious memes would help promote the architecture, whether or not one believed in the meme. Don’t atheists also say Hell now and then?

    But if compromise can’t be reached, I’ll just reach the fundamentalists on their terms: From now on, they can believe that DITA stands for Design Intelligence Theocratic Architecture. As bishops in their own right, information architects can create subset topics in the image of the Master Topic, each after its own kind. And since both origins of topics will interoperate perfectly within the DITA Open-minded Toolkit, an ecumenical resolution should be possible.

    Olive branches, anyone?

    Don Day,
    Proposer, EDEN Design Intelligence Theocratic Architecture Political Action Group
    Chair, OASIS Darwin Information Typing Architecture Technical Committee

    Comment by Don Day — April 9, 2010 @ 5:04 pm | Reply

  4. Just as an aside, wasn’t the original name Darwinian Information Typing Architecture? When did it get shortened?

    Comment by Julio Vazquez — April 9, 2010 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

    • The idea is Darwinian, but the designated name is Darwin. I noticed that in your book, and it gets said that way pretty often. For the 2.0 reboot, I was thinking of suggesting “Don’s”. 😉

      Comment by Don Day — April 9, 2010 @ 9:15 pm | Reply

      • Not sure I’ll go with Don’s but I probably will go through my files and fix the misnomer for the third edition. 😀

        Comment by Julio Vazquez — April 12, 2010 @ 11:47 am

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