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.
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.
Here’s a reading list for DITA materials when you’re just getting started. I’ve been fielding some questions via email and IM about DITA lately, and pulled this blog post out of my drafts. I hope it’s helpful.
In this tutorial, we will look at data services components. Recall that data services components are used to exchange business information with business partners, integrate data from other systems, and store and retrieve business data. We'll examine two Microsoft technologies that can be used to build data services components that can perform these tasks.
I've been thinking a lot about metadata recently, but not from the standpoint of XML or programming or helping to organize and index data. My interest is in the future of content ownership, delivery, and value. I see a future for media that looks very different from the media of today. The germ of this idea actually came from my experiences with online movie rentals.
This article deals with the display of tree-structures that are driven by a database. There are actually a few approaches to transform a 2-dimensional structure into a tree, and it seems odd that most are unknown to many developers.
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.
A potentially deadly illness, clinically referred to as UML (Unified Modeling Language) fever, is plaguing many software-engineering efforts today. This fever has many different strains that vary in levels of lethality and contagion. A number of these strains are symptomatically related, however. Rigorous laboratory analysis has revealed that each is unique in origin and makeup. A particularly insidious characteristic of UML fever, common to most of its assorted strains, is the difficulty individuals and organizations have in self-diagnosing the affliction. A consequence is that many cases of the fever go untreated and often evolve into more complex and lethal strains.
At the recent XML conference, Norm Walsh hosted a nocturne on Practical RDF, the highlight of which was his tour through thenorman.walsh.name setup. From the outside you may think this is a mere blog, but it’s actually a side-effect of a frighteningly gnarly confluence of metadata streams which are shaken and stirred to produce a sprawling network of resources a small part of which you might want to peruse for Norm’s news & views. I have a picture that made the audience at the session gasp in disbelief.
The IBM DB2 Viper release brings many new XML-related (and non-XML) features. One such feature is the annotated XML schema decomposition that allows you to decompose their XML documents into relational tables. The annotated XML schema supports various mapping constructs that allow you to map elements/attributes defined in the XML schema to table-column pairs in the relational schema. For large XML schemas consisting of many XML schema documents, manual annotation can be a cumbersome task. Get an introduction to the tool, DefaultAnnotater, that allows you to create default mapping and a default relational schema into which corresponding XML documents can be decomposed. This article provides a good starting platform for not only trying out the new function, but also further enhancing the mapping in a given XML schema.
An XML document is considered 'well written' when its syntax is correct, and 'valid' when it respects a document model. While a document must be 'well written,' it does not necessarily have to be 'valid.' However, as XML is a meta language, there are an infinite number of XML formats, and most XML documents should respect a particular document model, which can be defined in one of two ways: By a Document Type Definition (DTD); By an XML Schema. In this article, we are going to look at how you should go about implementing the former, using a DTD.
In this tutorial, you'll learn: how XML allows you to create custom markup languages; the role of schemas in XML data modeling; the difference between the types of XML schemas; what constitutes valid and well-formed documents; how to declare elements and attributes in a DTD; and how to create and use a DTD for a custom markup language.
The delivery of web content is being revolutionized by a new technique known as syndication. The most common format for syndication is RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) format for coordinating the delivery of time-based content streams, or 'feeds.' This means that RSS can be used to deliver content that changes over time. RSS provides for the inclusion of additional data, similar to email attachments, using the ENCLOSURE tag.
Cisco Systems IOS ITD Documentation group had a requirement to move to the dynamic delivery of documentation to their customers. This meant that the documentation had to be redesigned using a component architecture, moved to XML, and delivered through a personalization engine. This session discusses this process and the results.
The impact of XML and content management on the field of technical communications is no longer just a speck on the horizon. This paper presents techniques and observations from the trenches of a real-world XML-based content management system implementation that is being used to develop and publish print and online documentation at a prominent software company.
Several Web service discovery technologies including Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI), Web Services Metadata Exchange (WS-MEX) and other lightweight protocols and techniques can be used for particular scenarios. This presentation will discuss the status of each of these technologies and how they relate to the Web services stack as well as which technology should be employed to solve certain types of Web service integration problems.
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.
Designers of XML formats have to face the problem of how to design their formats to be extensible and yet be resilient to changes due revisions of the format. This presentation covers various techniques and considerations for versioning XML formats.
One would think that with the magnitude of XML-based tools into the marketplace it would be easier to justify authoring and storing documents directly in XML. By now most managers have been exposed to the benefits of creating XML content management systems according to some agreed upon set of documentation rules. However, understanding the benefits of this technical approach and being able to justify the expense of implementing it are two different things. Many XML developers are not able to articulate the long-term advantages of converting corporate data repositories to XML in order to build a suitable business case to get such a project off the ground. This session will help business managers articulate the long-term advantages of converting corporate data repositories to XML in order to build a suitable business case to get such projects off the ground by outlining the many cost savings and revenue generation opportunities created by managing enterprise data directly in XML.This session will help business managers articulate the long-term advantages of converting corporate data repositories to XML in order to build a suitable business case to get such projects off the ground by outlining the many cost savings and revenue generation opportunities created by managing enterprise data directly in XML.