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Introduction to DITA

Introduction to DITA

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DITA introduction DITA introduction Presentation Transcript

  • Introduction to
    -Raghunath Soman
    (with valuable inputs from Taher Oliya)
  • What is DITA?
    DITA stands for Darwin Information Type Architecture
    XML-based, open-source documentation framework
    Originally created by IBM, currently managed by OASIS committee
    Latest specification version is 1.2
  • Why DITA?
    Enforces structured authoring
    Facilitates content re-use
    Supports single-sourcing
    Reduces translation costs
    Allows extension in form of specializations
    Effective for collaborative documentation projects
    Enables conditional processing based on target audience
    Generates output in all major formats: PDF, CHM, WebHelp, RTF, JavaHelp
  • DITA Tools
    Any XML editor such as Oxygen XML Editor in combination with DITA OpenToolkit
    Arbortext Editor
    Adobe FrameMaker 8
    XMetal Author
    Xopus Online Editor
  • DITA Concepts
    Schema: base document that outlines the structure of XML
    Topics: generic document type
    Concepts: subjective information such as definitions, explanation, guidelines
    References: factual details, such as API description, command syntax
    Tasks: describes how to perform a specific procedure
    DITA Maps: logical organization of concepts, tasks and references
    Bookmaps: special kind of DITA map that defines the major structures for producing documentation as a book.
    Relationship Tables
    DITA elements and their attributes
    As of now, there are approximately 300 elements (tags) in DITA.
    Each element has a number of attributes specific to that element.
  • DITA Specializations
    Specialization feature of DITA allows extension of the core framework by adding industry-specific topic types, elements and attributes.
    Specialization is broadly categorized into two types:
    Topic specialization: creating new topic types
    Domain specialization: creating new elements and attributes
    Examples of topic specialization are:
    Message specialization
    Bookmap specialization
    Examples of domain specialization are:
    Training specialization
    Semiconductor industry specialization
  • Rules & Benefits of Specialization
    Basic Rules:
    The new information type and element must map to an existing one.
    The new information type must be more restrictive than the existing one in the content that they allow.
    For each new information type or topic specialization, a new DTD or a schema must be created.
    Major Benefits:
    Avoid re-inventing the wheel by re-using the base vocabulary
    Enables customized output with more specific search, filtering, and reuse
    Maintain consistency across multi-author teams
    Enforces explicit support of product architectural requirements
  • DITA Best Practices
    NOTE: These guidelines are only suggestions for best approach, and can/should be modified as per project-specific style guides.
    Analyze the content and break it into concepts, tasks and references.
    Avoid spaces in file names and folder names. Maintain a consistent naming convention across all file names.
    Nesting of multiple topics within a single file is discouraged.
    All root nodes should contain both a <title> and a <shortdesc> node immediately after it. Short description should be about 50 words long. Use complete sentences, and not sentence fragments. Do not merely re-state the topic title in different words.
    Use appropriate elements and attributes that best suit the content semantic. For example, use <ul>, <ol> and <dl> to enumerate bullets, numbers or definitions respectively.
  • DITA Resources
    DITA Wiki Knowledge Base
    DITA Specification v1.2
    DITA News
    DITA World
    DITA Open Toolkit User Guide
  • Happy Learning in DITA…
    Thank You!