DITA 101

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In this webcast recording, Sarah O'Keefe gives an overview of DITA, one of the major structured authoring standards in tech comm.

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DITA 101

  1. 1. DITA 101 Sarah O’Keefe (@sarahokeefe) Scriptorium Publishing (@Scriptorium)
  2. 2. Sarah O’Keefe @sarahokeefe❖ Founder and president, Scriptorium Publishing, www.scriptorium.com❖ Based in North Carolina❖ Content strategy for tech comm❖ Interested in collision of content, publishing, and technology
  3. 3. Before we begin…❖ Everyone is muted except for the presenter❖ Please ask your questions through the Questions area in the webcast interface❖ The presentation is being recorded; attendees do not appear in the recording❖ #dita101 hashtag for Twitter
  4. 4. Agenda❖ What is DITA?❖ Key DITA concepts❖ Typical scenarios for DITA❖ Is DITA right for you?
  5. 5. What is DITA?❖ Darwin Information Typing Architecture ❖ Darwin – because you can evolve new elements from existing elements ❖ Information Typing – content is categorized as task, reference, concept ❖ Architecture – includes components for reuse, single sourcing, and generating output❖ Developed by IBM, maintained by OASIS
  6. 6. Why is DITA important? Is DITA important?❖ Structured authoring is creating content with programmatic enforcement of the required structure❖ DITA is a specific way to do structured authoring❖ Many software vendors support DITA
  7. 7. What is DITA, really?❖ XML standard❖ Built for topic-oriented authoring❖ A way to work in XML without having to design your own structure?❖ A major buzzword in tech comm❖ Cost-effective way to create, publish, reuse, and exchange structured content
  8. 8. DITA components❖ Document type definitions (DTDs, which define structure)❖ Open Toolkit for generating output ❖ HTML, Eclipse help, CHM, and others through XSL ❖ PDF through XSL-FO❖ Documentation
  9. 9. DITA publishing
  10. 10. WhatDITA is not flickr: JoelK75
  11. 11. flickr: bandita
  12. 12. Perhaps it’s this… flickr: erix!
  13. 13. flickr: matthewreidIs DITA better than XML?
  14. 14. Which is better? flickr: eliduke, mdpettitt
  15. 15. Context matters. flickr: NeilsPhotography
  16. 16. flickr: liamq
  17. 17. DITA’s ideal habitat❖ Topic-oriented, modular content❖ Content reuse❖ Content exchange❖ Translation/localization workflow
  18. 18. Most common business case for DITA?❖ Localization cost savings❖ Reuse
  19. 19. DITA’s challenges❖ Automated formatting versus hand-crafted pagination❖ Narrative content❖ High level of technical expertise required❖ New skills for authors
  20. 20. DITA topic (simplified)<topic id=”seuss”> <title>One tag, two tag</title> <body> <p>Red tag, blue tag</p> <p>Black tag, blue tag, old tag, new tag</p> <p>This one has a little car</p> <p>This one has a little star</p> <note>Say, what a lot of tags there are!</note> </body></topic>
  21. 21. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE topic PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Topic//EN""topic.dtd"><topic id="aardvark" audience="internal"> <title>Aardvark</title> <body> <p>Aardvarks eat mostly termites. </p> <p>Do not accept the aardvarks offer to help deal with your termite problem. You will <b>not</b> like the results.</p> <note type="danger" id="nofeeding">Do not feed animals snacks, scraps, or people food.</note> </body> </topic>
  22. 22. <?xml version="1.0"?> I am XML.<!DOCTYPE topic PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Topic//EN""topic.dtd"><topic id="aardvark" audience="internal"> <title>Aardvark</title> <body> <p>Aardvarks eat mostly termites. </p> <p>Do not accept the aardvarks offer to help deal with your termite problem. You will <b>not</b> like the results.</p> <note type="danger" id="nofeeding">Do not feed animals snacks, scraps, or people food.</note> </body> </topic>
  23. 23. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE topic PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Topic//EN""topic.dtd"> I am a DITA topic.<topic id="aardvark" audience="internal"> <title>Aardvark</title> <body> <p>Aardvarks eat mostly termites. </p> <p>Do not accept the aardvarks offer to help deal with your termite problem. You will <b>not</b> like the results.</p> <note type="danger" id="nofeeding">Do not feed animals snacks, scraps, or people food.</note> </body> </topic>
  24. 24. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE topic PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Topic//EN""topic.dtd"><topic id="aardvark" audience="internal"> <title>Aardvark</title> <body> <p>Aardvarks eat mostly termites. </p> <p>Do not accept the aardvarks offer to help deal with your termite problem. You will <b>not</b> like the results.</p> <note type="danger" id="nofeeding">Do not feed animals snacks, scraps, or people food.</note> </body> </topic>
  25. 25. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE topic PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Topic//EN""topic.dtd"><topic id="aardvark" audience="internal"> <title>Aardvark</title> <body> <p>Aardvarks eat mostly termites. </p> <p>Do not accept the aardvarks offer to help deal with your termite problem. You will <b>not</b> like the results.</p> <note type="danger" id="nofeeding">Do not feed animals snacks, scraps, or people food.</note> </body> </topic>
  26. 26. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE topic PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Topic//EN""topic.dtd"><topic id="aardvark" audience="internal"> <title>Aardvark</title> <body> <p>Aardvarks eat mostly termites. </p> <p>Do not accept the aardvarks offer to help deal with your termite problem. You will <b>not</b> like the results.</p> <note type="danger" id="nofeeding">Do not feed animals snacks, scraps, or people food.</note> </body> </topic>
  27. 27. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE topic PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Topic//EN""topic.dtd"><topic id="aardvark" audience="internal"> <title>Aardvark</title> <body> <p>Aardvarks eat mostly termites. </p> <p>Do not accept the aardvarks offer to help deal with your termite problem. You will <b>not</b> like the results.</p> <note type="danger" id="nofeeding">Do not feed animals snacks, scraps, or people food.</note> </body> </topic>
  28. 28. WYSIOOWhat You See Is…One Option
  29. 29. WYSIOOWhat You See Is…One Option
  30. 30. WYSIOOWhat You See Is…One Option
  31. 31. WYSIOOWhat You See Is…One Option
  32. 32. Key DITA concepts❖ Topics❖ Map files❖ Content references (conrefs)❖ Specialization
  33. 33. Topics flickr: scientificquilter
  34. 34. Map files flickr: acnatta
  35. 35. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE map PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Map//EN" "map.dtd"><map rev="1" title="Zoo Policies" xml:lang="en-us"><topicmeta> <author>Sarah</author> <critdates> <created date="2006/10/31"/> <revised modified="2012/05/31"/> </critdates></topicmeta><topicref href="Animal_nutrition.xml" navtitle="Animal nutrition"type="reference"> <topicref href="Aardvark.xml" navtitle="Aardvark" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Baboon.xml" navtitle="Baboon" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Crane.xml" navtitle="Crane" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Dingo.xml" navtitle="Dingo" type="topic"/></topicref><topicref href="Visitor_behavior.xml" navtitle="Visitor behavior"type="topic"> <topicref href="Adults.xml" navtitle="Adults" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Children.xml" navtitle="Children" type="topic"/></topicref></map>
  36. 36. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE map PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Map//EN" "map.dtd"><map rev="1" title="Zoo Policies" xml:lang="en-us"><topicmeta> <author>Sarah</author> <critdates> <created date="2006/10/31"/> <revised modified="2012/05/31"/> I am a DITA map. </critdates></topicmeta><topicref href="Animal_nutrition.xml" navtitle="Animal nutrition"type="reference"> <topicref href="Aardvark.xml" navtitle="Aardvark" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Baboon.xml" navtitle="Baboon" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Crane.xml" navtitle="Crane" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Dingo.xml" navtitle="Dingo" type="topic"/></topicref><topicref href="Visitor_behavior.xml" navtitle="Visitor behavior"type="topic"> <topicref href="Adults.xml" navtitle="Adults" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Children.xml" navtitle="Children" type="topic"/></topicref></map>
  37. 37. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE map PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Map//EN" "map.dtd"><map rev="1" title="Zoo Policies" xml:lang="en-us"><topicmeta> <author>Sarah</author> <critdates> <created date="2006/10/31"/> <revised modified="2012/05/31"/> </critdates></topicmeta><topicref href="Animal_nutrition.xml" navtitle="Animal nutrition"type="reference"> <topicref href="Aardvark.xml" navtitle="Aardvark" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Baboon.xml" navtitle="Baboon" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Crane.xml" navtitle="Crane" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Dingo.xml" navtitle="Dingo" type="topic"/></topicref><topicref href="Visitor_behavior.xml" navtitle="Visitor behavior"type="topic"> <topicref href="Adults.xml" navtitle="Adults" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Children.xml" navtitle="Children" type="topic"/></topicref></map>
  38. 38. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE map PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Map//EN" "map.dtd"><map rev="1" title="Zoo Policies" xml:lang="en-us"><topicmeta> <author>Sarah</author> <critdates> <created date="2006/10/31"/> <revised modified="2012/05/31"/> </critdates></topicmeta><topicref href="Animal_nutrition.xml" navtitle="Animal nutrition"type="reference"> <topicref href="Aardvark.xml" navtitle="Aardvark" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Baboon.xml" navtitle="Baboon" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Crane.xml" navtitle="Crane" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Dingo.xml" navtitle="Dingo" type="topic"/></topicref><topicref href="Visitor_behavior.xml" navtitle="Visitor behavior"type="topic"> <topicref href="Adults.xml" navtitle="Adults" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Children.xml" navtitle="Children" type="topic"/></topicref></map>
  39. 39. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE map PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Map//EN" "map.dtd"><map rev="1" title="Zoo Policies" xml:lang="en-us"><topicmeta> <author>Sarah</author> <critdates> <created date="2006/10/31"/> <revised modified="2012/05/31"/> </critdates></topicmeta><topicref href="Animal_nutrition.xml" navtitle="Animal nutrition"type="reference"> <topicref href="Aardvark.xml" navtitle="Aardvark" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Baboon.xml" navtitle="Baboon" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Crane.xml" navtitle="Crane" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Dingo.xml" navtitle="Dingo" type="topic"/></topicref><topicref href="Visitor_behavior.xml" navtitle="Visitor behavior"type="topic"> <topicref href="Adults.xml" navtitle="Adults" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Children.xml" navtitle="Children" type="topic"/></topicref></map>
  40. 40. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE map PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Map//EN" "map.dtd"><map rev="1" title="Zoo Policies" xml:lang="en-us"><topicmeta> <author>Sarah</author> <critdates> <created date="2006/10/31"/> <revised modified="2012/05/31"/> </critdates></topicmeta> Level 1<topicref href="Animal_nutrition.xml" navtitle="Animal nutrition"type="reference"> <topicref href="Aardvark.xml" navtitle="Aardvark" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Baboon.xml" navtitle="Baboon" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Crane.xml" navtitle="Crane" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Dingo.xml" navtitle="Dingo" type="topic"/></topicref><topicref href="Visitor_behavior.xml" navtitle="Visitor behavior"type="topic"> <topicref href="Adults.xml" navtitle="Adults" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Children.xml" navtitle="Children" type="topic"/></topicref></map>
  41. 41. <?xml version="1.0"?><!DOCTYPE map PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Map//EN" "map.dtd"><map rev="1" title="Zoo Policies" xml:lang="en-us"><topicmeta> <author>Sarah</author> <critdates> <created date="2006/10/31"/> <revised modified="2012/05/31"/> </critdates></topicmeta> Level 1<topicref href="Animal_nutrition.xml" navtitle="Animal nutrition"type="reference"> Level 2 <topicref href="Aardvark.xml" navtitle="Aardvark" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Baboon.xml" navtitle="Baboon" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Crane.xml" navtitle="Crane" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Dingo.xml" navtitle="Dingo" type="topic"/></topicref><topicref href="Visitor_behavior.xml" navtitle="Visitor behavior"type="topic"> <topicref href="Adults.xml" navtitle="Adults" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Children.xml" navtitle="Children" type="topic"/></topicref></map>
  42. 42. Named destination in Aardvark.xml conrefs <topic id="aardvark"> ... <note type="danger" id="nofeeding">Do not feed animals snacks, scraps, or people food. … </topic>Link in Baboon.xml<topic id="baboon"> <title>Baboon</title> <body> <p>Baboons eat mostly fruit.</p> <p> <note conref="Aardvark.xml#aardvark/nofeeding"/> </p> </body></topic>
  43. 43. Named destination in Aardvark.xml conrefs <topic id="aardvark"> ... <note type="danger" id="nofeeding">Do not feed animals snacks, scraps, or people food. … </topic>Link in Baboon.xml<topic id="baboon"> <title>Baboon</title> <body> <p>Baboons eat mostly fruit.</p> <p> <note conref="Aardvark.xml#aardvark/nofeeding"/> </p> </body></topic>
  44. 44. Named destination in Aardvark.xml conrefs <topic id="aardvark"> ... <note type="danger" id="nofeeding">Do not feed animals snacks, scraps, or people food. … </topic>Link in Baboon.xml<topic id="baboon"> <title>Baboon</title> <body> <p>Baboons eat mostly fruit.</p> <p> <note conref="Aardvark.xml#aardvark/nofeeding"/> </p> </body></topic>
  45. 45. Specialization❖ Lets you create additional elements without breaking DITA Open Toolkit processing.❖ New element is a specialization of the base element.❖ This is what put the D in DITA.
  46. 46. Customization options flickr: munksynz
  47. 47. Customization
  48. 48. Constraints
  49. 49. Specialization
  50. 50. Business case for XML❖ Content exchange❖ Database publishing❖ Reuse content/reduce duplication❖ Automated formatting/publishing❖ Compliance
  51. 51. Beyond XML’s business case, DITA may…❖ Reduce content modeling effort❖ Make content truly portable❖ Support content reuse❖ Take advantage of software support❖ Provide output options❖ Reduce overall cost of implementation
  52. 52. Reduce content modeling effort
  53. 53. Make content truly portable flickr: aloha75
  54. 54. Support content reuse❖ Map files❖ conrefs (and variations)❖ keyrefs (and variations)
  55. 55. Software support❖ DITA support found in many (most?) XML authoring tools❖ Some tools support only DITA and not general XML
  56. 56. Provide output options❖ XHTML, HTML Help, PDF, Eclipse, DocBook, JavaHelp, troff, Word RTF through DITA Open Toolkit❖ Starting point for output❖ Not suitable for production workflow❖ Customization is difficult and time-consuming
  57. 57. Is DITA right for you? flickr: nugunslinger
  58. 58. Yes❖ DITA meets all requirements.❖ A business partner or customer requires DITA content.❖ Single sourcing is a requirement.❖ No existing content.❖ Can be flexible with markup requirements to make implementation faster.
  59. 59. No.❖ Content must conform to a specific standard, such as S1000D.❖ Content is and should remain narrative.❖ Semantic requirements are industry- specific, complex, and/or strict.❖ No possibility of internal or external support for technical challenges.
  60. 60. Maybe.❖ DITA is not an exact match.❖ Customization/specialization would be required.
  61. 61. Questions?

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