A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is an XML-based architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering technical information. DITA divides content into small, self-contained topics that can be reused in different deliverables. The extensibility of DITA permits organizations to define specific information structures and still use standard tools to work with them. DITA is often compared against DocBook, a similar XML schema.



DITA for WordPress

The DITA-OT plugin transforms a map into a single file, suitable for publication, and automatically call the xmlrpc API of the blog to publish it. The DITA Wordpress plugin adds a css (a slightly modified version of the DITA-OT commonltr.css) to your Wordpress theme to properly render the standard domains.

DITA Open Platform. Resources>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 in Business   (PDF)   (members only)

The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) has formed a new committee for encouraging the use of DITA in all areas of business. Readers can learn how to work with their organization to make the sharing of DITA content possible.

Manning, Steve. Intercom (2008). Articles>Business Communication>XML>DITA


DITA in Localization   (PDF)

It is critical to address localization as part of the DITA adoption early as it may significantly impact your localization process with potential schedule and cost implications that could negate many benefits of XML.

Lionbridge (2009). Articles>Language>Localization>DITA


DITA Infocenter

A searchable knowledge base of specifications for DITA users.

DITA Infocenter. Resources>Documentation>XML>DITA


DITA Is Not the Answer

Single sourcing is good, I’m sure most of us can agree on that, but I’ve recently been wondering if perhaps DITA isn’t quite good enough?

McLean, Gordon. One Man Writes (2007). Articles>Content Management>XML>DITA


DITA Knowledge Base

The DITA Knowledge Base pages provide a reliable basis of technical and educational information on the standard.

XML.org (2006). Resources>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 maps are documents that collect and organize references to DITA topics to indicate the relationships among the topics. They can also serve as outlines or tables of contents for DITA deliverables and as build manifests for DITA projects.

OASIS. Resources>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


DITA Metrics: Developing Cost Metrics

This paper helps you determine the cost portion of the ROI calculation. What are my costs now? What will my new costs be with DITA? This paper describes one model for calculating the cost of a DITA project. After doing some content analysis on your own documentation set, you can customize this cost model to suit your documentation project needs. In the end, you should be able to speak the financial language of managers and prove to them in dollar signs the value of moving to DITA.

Lewis, Mark A. Content Wrangler, The (2009). Articles>Project Management>Business Case>DITA


DITA Metrics: Reuse Strategy and Savings Trend With Warehouse Topics

This paper is the third in the DITA Metrics series which examines the cost and reuse values for a DITA project to determine DITA ROI. The concepts and ideas discussed are based on the cost model introduced in the first paper, DITA Metrics: Cost Metrics – Part 1. This paper provides real metrics that prove the savings that can be achieved through DITA and a solid content reuse strategy. We look at the savings trend that emerges when content referencing and warehouse topics are used to document similar products. How much does it cost to document each additional similar product? Many thanks again to Julio Vazquez for his excellent review and feedback on this paper. Thanks Julio! >Mark Lewis Keywords: DITA metrics DITA reuse math DITA economics DITA cost metrics DITA reuse metrics DITA percent reuse DITA percentage reuse DITA statistics DITA formulas single source publishing metrics single source publishing statistics Reuse calculate reuse calculation DITA Cost Calculator DITA Cost Calculations DITA Reuse Calculator DITA Reuse Calculations DITA ROI business case

Lewis, Mark A. XML.org (2009). Articles>Project Management>Business Case>DITA


DITA Metrics: Savings Trend With Reusable Master Topics

This is the second installment of the DITA Metrics series which examines the cost and reuse values for a DITA project to determine DITA ROI. This paper looks at the savings trend when reusable master topics are used to document similar products. How much does it cost to document each additional similar product?

Lewis, Mark A. Content Wrangler, The (2009). Articles>Project Management>Business Case>DITA


DITA Open Platform

The DITA Open Platform is a free, open-source project which goal is to provide an enterprise platform for the edition, management and processing of DITA documents.

DITA Open Platform. Resources>Information Design>XML>DITA


DITA Open Toolkit

The DITA Open Toolkit is an implementation of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee's specification for Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) DTDs and Schemas. The Toolkit transforms DITA content (maps and topics) into deliverable formats.

Sourceforge (2007). Resources>Software>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 Open Toolkit Customization

This paper outlines a course given by Adena Frazier of Suite Solutions--a course which is highly recommended for anyone who wants to get the most of the OT. This paper outlines the most important processes, but it leaves out many of the details, tips, and debugging notes that were included in the course. Note, too, that errors easily could have crept in, and some details are bound to change for later versions of the toolkit. (We used version 1.4.1) So it makes a lot of sense to take the course, even if you find the outline useful.

Sun Microsystems (2008). Articles>Documentation>XML>DITA


Review: DITA Open Toolkit GUI

I just spent some time playing with this tool and find it a clean, quick alternative to the more complex Echidna/WinANT tool. DITAOT-GUI provides a simple interface, allowing users to select a map, DITAVAL filter, output location and output type. It bypasses the need to create a build file but therefore does not allow the use of parameters and properties to specify additional aspects of the build.

Soltys, Keith. Core Dump (2010). Articles>Reviews>Software>DITA


DITA Specialization

This area provides access to my DITA specialization tutorial and other DITA specialization-related information and materials.

XIRUSS. Books>Documentation>XML>DITA


DITA Tools 1 (Planning)

The IBM Information Architecture Workbench is an Eclipse-based freeware that I find marvellously handy for organising my thoughts and then committing those thoughts to DITA files. With it, I can model my ditamaps, generate DITA stub files* for the ditamap nodes, and edit the DITA files. Plus, if I draw a line from File A to File B, it gets registered in the ditamap's relationship table. All pretty neat and clean. It shows me, visually, how my topics are arranged in my book (and lets me move around files with a drag-and-drop action). It also shows me orphan files - those nodes that I created but did not link anywhere. And, I can edit the DITA attributes very easily in the Properties view.

Basu, Anindita. Writing Technically (2010). Articles>Information Design>Software>DITA


DITA Tools 2 (Authoring)

I am very comfortable with using Notepad to write in DITA. But there are times when I forget if a particular DITA tag can be used at a particular place. For example, I regularly forget if <prereq> should precede <context> or follow. At such times, an XML editor that also validates your tags as you type comes in handy. XMLmind XML Editor is one such tool and comes bundled with the DITA DTDs and schemas. Its personal edition is free to use for non-commercial purposes and is, thus, great if you want a WYSIWYG DITA editor for your learning and other personal stuff.

Basu, Anindita. Writing Technically (2010). Articles>Information Design>Software>DITA


DITA Tools from A to Z   (PDF)

Introduces readers to the major DITA tools for editing, content and translation management, and publishing.

Doyle, Bob. Intercom (2008). Articles>Software>XML>DITA


DITA Users   (members only)

DITA Users is a membership organization that includes: individuals learning DITA; organizations moving to single-source authoring and multi-channel publishing; vendors of XML Editors and XML Content Management Systems.

DITA Users. Organizations>Information Design>Standards>DITA


A DITA Wizard

Two of the oft-quoted benefits of DITA, the Darwin Information Typing Architecture, are 'single-sourcing' and 'content re-use'. These benefits do not only apply to the commonly-accepted definition of technical documents, but to many other forms of documents from outside the technical communicator's realm.

Self, Tony. HyperWrite (2007). Articles>Documentation>XML>DITA


DITA XML and Accessibility: An Interview with Robert Johnson II

DITA 1.3 is scheduled to include enhancements that expand the options for implementing accessibility in tables to match the options available in HTML. While it's good to enhance the flexibility of DITA, authors also need to remember to keep table design simple.

Schengili-Roberts, Keith. DITAWriter (2014). Articles>Interviews>Accessibility>DITA



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