A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is an open, general-purpose specification for creating markup languages. Its primary purpose is to help information systems share structured data, particularly via the Internet, and it is used both to encode documents and to serialize data. It is used in a wide variety of technical communication document formats, including Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, XHTML, DITA, DocBook, and RSS, among others.



Developing DITA Maps   (PDF)

DITA maps provide a mechanism for ordering topics and creating a topic hierarchy. Because DITA maps consist of lists of references to topics, you can reorganize the content in a deliverable simply by changing the order of the topic references. You can create different maps referencing the same source topics to create two deliverables to meet different users' needs.

Linton, Jennifer. ComTech Services (2006). Presentations>Information Design>XML>DITA


Development Life Cycle and Tools for XML Content Models

Many integration projects today rely on shared semantic models based on standards represented using Extensible Mark up Language (XML) technologies. Shared semantic models typically evolve and require maintenance. In addition, to promote interoperability and reduce integration costs, the shared semantics should be reused as much as possible. Semantic components must be consistent and valid in terms of agreed upon standards and guidelines. In this paper, we describe an activity model for creation, use, and maintenance of a shared semantic model that is coherent and supports efficient enterprise integration. We then use this activity model to frame our research and the development of tools to support those activities. We provide overviews of these tools primarily in the context of the W3C XML Schema. At the present, we focus our work on the W3C XML Schema as the representation of choice, due to its extensive adoption by industry.

Kulvatunyou, Serm, Katherine Morris, Buhwan Jeong and Puja Goyal. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML


Digging Deeper Into XML Documents

This tutorial introduces you to a few more acronyms, and along the way takes a closer look at the inner workings of XML documents. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to document your XML code with comments.

BrainBell (2009). Articles>Information Design>XML


Displaying ADO Retrieved Data with XML Islands

An XML data island is a piece of well-formed XML embedded into an HTML file. This article will show you how to retrieve data in an XML format from a database using ADO; you will also learn how to bind this data into an HTML document.

Krishnaswamy, Jayaram. Dev Articles (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>XHTML


DITA 1.3 and Improved Table Accessibility for Screen Readers

One of the ideas that appears on the DITA 1.3 project tracking website has to do with extending the existing table model so that outputted tables are more accessible for those using spoken-word browsers. Oddly enough, this proposal provides more than just a brief description as to how it is supposed to work, so I have pieced together a brief overview as to how I think it is supposed to work.

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


DITA and the Technical Communicator   (PDF)   (members only)

How will DITA conversion affect your work? Sigman shares what she's learned from her own survey of technical communicators.

Sigman, Christine Marini. Intercom (2008). Articles>TC>XML>DITA


DITA and XML Community of the Rockies

Our goal is to bring people together — think social network organized around XML, DITA, content management and related topics. This blog serves as a hub for white papers and URL resources, contains a calendar of XML-related events and conferences, tracks industry trends, and keeps members up-to-date as to “what’s new” on the site.

DITA-XML Community of the Rockies. Resources>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 For Business Documents? New OASIS Committee Says "Yes!"

Think DITA is just for procedural technical documents? Think again. A new OASIS DITA sub-committee has been announced whose purpose it is to explore using the popular technical documentation standard known as the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) outside technical documentation projects.

Content Wrangler, The (2007). Articles>Business Communication>XML>DITA


DITA for Help

Can DITA be used as a Help authoring technology? Superficially, of course it can! The DITA Open Toolkit includes an HTML Help transformer, an Eclipse Help transformer, and an HTML transformer (which can also generate some sort of Table of Contents). So isn't it obvious then? DITA is perfect for Help authoring. Or is it? Looking a bit deeper, it's not so obvious. Can I include context-hooks in my content? Can I specify a popup link? Can I build a modular Help system? If I can't, then DITA is probably not suitable for Help.

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


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 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 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


DITA Specialization

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

XIRUSS. Books>Documentation>XML>DITA



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