Where DITA Calls Home


Bird brining dita back to the nest

In an earlier post, I wrote about the history of DITA and where it came from. Today, I thought I would give you some information about DITA's current caretakers.

IBM donated DITA to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) in March 2004. OASIS is a nonprofit consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society.


OASIS  produces worldwide standards for security, Internet of Things, cloud computing, energy, content technologies, emergency management, and other areas. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology.

OASIS was founded under the name "SGML Open" in 1993. It began as a trade association of  SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) tool vendors to cooperatively promote the adoption of SGML through mainly educational activities.

Within five years, high tech industry began to move away from SGML to a new markup language. This new language was a compromise between the complex SGML and the popular new HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) for web pages. The new markup language was XML (eXtensible Markup Language). SGML Open changed to OASIS to be inclusive of XML and reflect an expanded scope of technical work.

The OASIS DITA Technical Committee (TC) defines and maintains DITA and promotes the use of the architecture of creating standard information types and domain-specific markup vocabularies. The TC creates specifications for DITA and then submits them for balloting by OASIS membership.  Membership in the DITA TC is represented by over 50 companies, government agencies, and individuals.

Furthermore, there are four active DITA TC subcommittees. These subcommittees are concerned with:

  • Designing online help systems using DITA
  • Developing educational content that meets the needs of education professionals
  • Developing educational content specializations for the tech comm package of DITA 1.3 as well as education for those specializations
  • Developing a specification for a lightweight DITA architecture

If you're interested in having a say in what goes into the next version of DITA, consider joining the DITA TC or a subcommittee. Before you do so, you or your employer must be a member of OASIS. 
Information on joining OASIS can be found at https://www.oasis-open.org/join

Information the DITA TC and subcommittees can be found at https://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=dita