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All About Output from DITA Maps

Using Adobe FrameMaker 9, one can save a DITA Map in various formats depending on one’s requirements. It could be intermediary output, like – FrameMaker Book/Document; or it can be final output, like – Print/PDF.

Adobe (2009). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Barriers to DITA Adoption

As an independent consultant working mainly with small businesses I find that my clients are reluctant to commit to DITA for a number of reasons. As DITA authoring tools become more user-friendly and more readily available some of these barriers will begin to fade. But in general terms, the more DITA tools that become available, and the easier they become to use, the better for everyone.

Farbey, David. Blockhead Blog, The (2009). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Building a Bridge: DITA, DocBook, and ODF

Some folks here are taking a very strong look at DITA. I'm certainly one of them. But we also have a huge legacy of documents in Solbook format (Sun's subset of DocBook). There are tools for editing such documents, and tools for processing them. and there are many people who are comfortable with those tools. So DITA isn't going to replace the world, just yet. But DITA makes extensive reuse possible. It's a format with a serious future, because "reuse" is a very big deal. It lets you single-source your information content so have one place to make an edit. That sort of thing becomes important when you have multiple revisions of a product, and/or multiple variations. It becomes important when different tools and different products use the same information in different ways. It can drastically improve quality, ensure uniformity of presentation. Finally, structured formats like DITA and DocBook create the kind of consistently-tagged information that allows for useful automation.

Armstrong, Eric. Sun Microsystems (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Complex Tools Versus Simple Tools

If you can put together an authoring-publishing workflow that is form-fit to DITA, then using DITA can be a good choice. For example, if you’re using Oxygen to publish to Oxygen’s webhelp output, or using easyDITA to push to MindTouch, or pushing content into Antidot’s Fluid Topics, or Mekon’s DITAweb, or Componize’s Alfreso integration, or some other defined DITA publishing solution, then I think DITA can be a good approach.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2014). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Darwin Information Typing Architecture

Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is an XML-based architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering technical information. The architecture and a related DTD and a W3C-Schema was developed by IBM.

Wikipedia. Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA XML)

DITA is an architecture for creating topic-oriented, information-typed content that can be reused and single-sourced in a variety of ways. It is also an architecture for creating new information types and describing new information domains based on existing types and domains. This allows groups to create very specific, targeted document type definitions using a process called specialization, while still sharing common output transforms and design rules developed for more general types and domains.

Cover Pages (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


A Day at the DITA CIDM Conference

I went to the Content Management Strategies/DITA North America 2008 conference (put on by CIDM), which took place in Santa Clara last week. While I went to support our co-founder's speech on DocBook versus DITA, I also used this opportunity to catch up with software vendors and single-source users. Here's my top #10 take-away list.

Talbot, Fabrice. LiveTechDocs (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Design Patterns for Information Architecture with DITA Map Domains

The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) provides maps for assembling topics into deliverables. By specializing the map elements, you can define a formal information architecture for your deliverables. This architecture provides guidance to authors on how to organize topics and lets processes recognize your organizing principles, resulting in a consistent, clear experience for your users.

Hennum, Erik, Don Day, John Hunt and Dave Schell. IBM (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


DITA Backlash?

I have seen a couple of blog postings lately that underscore the statement that DITA is not for everyone or for every situation.

Rockley Group, The (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


DITA Folder Hierarchy, Conref, Mapref, and More

Here, in no particular order, I cover a miscellany of DITA challenges – content re-use, maprefs, folder structures, ditamaps, topicsets, and authoring-publishing workflows.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2014). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


DITA Hierarchical Links, Related Links, Short Descriptions, and One-Folder Organization

I’m continuing with my series about DITA. In this post, I explain parent-child page links, content re-use when the content exists in different elements, a one-folder-for-all-files organization, and a better workaround to transferring relative links to Drupal.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2014). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


DITA Linking and Relationship Tables

Overview of best practices for using ditamaps and relationship tables to manage linking.

Stark, Scott. DITA Users (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


DITA Maturity Model   (PDF)

You will better understand how DITA can support your organization and how it can scale to meet your enterprise content needs by first understanding the basics of DITA standardization.

Priestley, Michael and Amber Swope. Just Systems (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


The DITA Open Toolkit Architecture

The DITA Open Toolkit is an open source implementation of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee's specification for Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) DTDs and schemas. The toolkit is a major upgrade from its predecessor, the developerWorks version known as "dita132." The toolkit uses open source solution of ANT, XSLT (currently 1.0) and Java to implement transformation functions from DITA content (maps and topics) into different deliverable formats.

SourceForge (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


DITA--A Standard for TD?   (members only)

The abbreviation DITA stands for 'Darwin Information Typing Architecture', an information architecture based on XML. DITA is not a mere reinvention of the wheel: rather, it sets the standards for known structuring requirements. The most striking feature of this architecture is the clear orientation towards a technology for structuring, which has already proved its worth in online documentation.

Closs, Sissi. tekom (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


DITA: From the Perspective of Someone Actually Using It

In this podcast, Marlene Martineau of New Dawn Technologies explains why they adopted DITA, how they adopted it, the benefits they're experiencing, and the reasons why she'll never go back.

Martineau, Marlene. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


DITA: Opportunities To Help Shape The Standard, Promote DITA Adoption, Develop Real-World Solutions

Want to get involved in the formation of one of the most important XML standards impacting content professionals? You can. And, you should. The folks at OASIS—the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards—have made it easy for just about anyone to participate.

Content Wrangler, The. Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Frequently Asked Questions about the Darwin Information Typing Architecture

DITA experts Don Day, Michael Priestley, and Gretchen Hargis address the topic architecture of DITA, tips and techniques, and general DITA questions.

Day, Don, Michael Priestley and Gretchen Hargis. IBM (2001). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Frequently Asked Questions about the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)

DITA supports the proper construction of specialized DTDs from any higher-level DTD or schema. The base DTD is ditabase DTD, which contains an archetype topic structure and three additional peer topics that are typed specializations from the basic topic: concept, task, and reftopic. The principles of specialization and inheritance resemble the principle of variation in species proposed by Charles Darwin. So the name reminds us of the key extensibility mechanism inherent in the architecture.

Day, Don, Michael Priestley and Gretchen Hargis. IBM (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Getting Started with DITA

A brief overview for a couple of fellow Austin writers who have asked me recently how and where to get started with DITA.

Gentle, Anne. Just Write Click (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Going DITA

It’s hard to go to a content management or publishing technology conference these days without there being a presentation on DITA — the Darwinian Information Typing Architecture. For the uninitiated, DITA is an XML architecture for authoring and publishing topic-based content, typically technical documentation. The brainchild of IBM, where it is used internally for many documentation projects, DITA is now an open-source standard under the aegis of OASIS.

Hondros, Constantine. O'Reilly and Associates (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


The Hidden Cost of DITA   (PDF)   (members only)

Many people see DITA architecture as a shortcut to avoiding content modeling. O'Keefe warns readers against this mistake.

O'Keefe, Sarah S. Intercom (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


How to Customize the DITA Open Toolkit PDF Plugin Output to Remove "on page xx" Text for Cross References

This tutorial uses the DITA Open Toolkit and the corresponding PDF plugin release, and Wrycan's demo text. This assumes you have a working DITA environment and can run the default formatting with PDF plugin.

Blogspot (2009). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


How to Substitute Your Custom CSS When Using DITA Open Toolkit Transforms

When you want to use the DITA Open Toolkit transforms but you want to use your own CSS, here's how to substitute your CSS for HTML Help (CHM).

Gentle, Anne. BMC Software (2009). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Improving Relationships in Relationship Tables

While topic relationships can be stored in the topics themselves, as products evolve and user interfaces change, a topic that was required for release 1.0 of a product may no longer be needed in release 2.3. If related topics are maintained at the topic level, removing a topic that is no longer part of the system may involve modifying the related topics of a dozen different DITA files.

Binder, Zachary. XML.org (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA



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