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DITA For Publishers: How Publishers Can Really Do XML
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DITA For Publishers: How Publishers Can Really Do XML


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DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is an XML-based architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering information. Publishers are starting to take DITA seriously. And if they aren’t, …

DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is an XML-based architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering information. Publishers are starting to take DITA seriously. And if they aren’t, they should be. This panel session will introduce DITA for publishers, the basic publishing-specific DITA components that are completely generic, and how DITA can really be the tool-set that launches publishers into the XML world.

In this free webinar DITA guru and contributor to the DITA specification, Eliot Kimber, senior solutions architect at Really Strategies, will present DITA for Publishers and provide details about his new community-based, open-source project: DITA For Publishers (

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  • 1. DITA for Publishers: How Publishers Can Really Do XML March 10, 2010 ©2009 Really Strategies, Inc. |
  • 2. Webinar Agenda  Welcome  Company Overview and Introduction  Online Poll  What is your knowledge of DITA?  Webinar Overview  Online Poll  What is your relationship to publishing?  DITA for Publishers  Q&A 2 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 3. Who is Really Strategies?  Founded: 2000  Consulting Services to Publishers 2007, 2009  Specialists in XML-based Content Management Solutions  Project/Program Management  Workflow Analysis and Reengineering 2004 - 2009  Content and Metadata Modeling  Technology Assessment and Roadmaps  Much more… 2006, 2007, 2008  RSuite CMS – A Content Management System for Publishers  DocZone – The first SaaS XML Content Management 2007, 2009 System 2004, 2005, 2007 3 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 4. Serving over 100 companies STM Educational Media Tech Pubs 4 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 5. Webinar Presenter As Senior Solutions Architect at Really Strategies, Eliot leads publishers through various content management initiatives, including RSuite CMS implementations, XML and desktop publishing applications, DITA requirements and standardization, and information and process analyses. He is fluent in XML, XSLT, XSL-FO, DTD development, XSD Schema, XPath, XQuery, XInclude, Xlink, and other standards that relate to information management and publishing. 5 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 6. What is your knowledge of DITA? ONLINE POLL 6 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 7. Webinar Overview  DITA for Publishers: How Publishers Can Really Do XML  What is DITA?  Some myths about DITA get busted  The basic value DITA brings to the use of XML  DITA for Publishers: What is it?  DITA for Publishers: Why is it?  A few real-world users  Final words: A vision of XML’s promise truly realized  Questions and answers 7 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 8. What is your relationship to publishing? ONLINE POLL 8 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 9. What is DITA?  An XML-based standard architecture for authoring and storing documents.  By ―documents‖ we mean ―stuff people read.‖  The acronym means ―Darwin Information Typing Architecture.‖  Where ―Darwin‖ connotes DITA’s inherent flexibility and adaptability.  DITA is produced through OASIS Open.  Currently at version 1.2 (almost). 9 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 10. Essential DITA Concepts  All content is organized as ―topics.‖  A topic always has a title, may have a body, and may have subordinate topics.  Notionally, topics are intended to be standalone, re-usable chunks of content.  Topics are organized into deliverable packages by ―maps.‖  A map is essentially a tree of hyperlinks to topics. Maps impose organization onto topics.  Maps allow a topic to be used in many packages. 10 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 11. DITA: Maps and Topics Maps Topics Part I My Book Chapter 1 Section 1.1 Section 1.2 My Vol 1 Issue 2 Magazine Article 1 Section 1.1 Section 1.2 Re-used Topics 11 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 12. Some DITA Myths Get Busted  Myth 1: DITA is just for technical documentation  Myth 2: DITA requires modular writing 12 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 13. Myth 1: DITA is Just for Tech Docs BUSTED  While it is true that DITA comes out of technical documentation…  …as an architecture DITA is completely generic  Most current information about DITA focuses on its use for technical documentation  Before DITA for Publishers—not always obvious how to apply DITA to Publishing requirements 13 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 14. Myth 2: DITA Requires Modular Writing BUSTED  Modular writing is a technical documentation practice.  DITA supports modular writing.  DITA does not require modular writing.  In particular, DITA does not require each DITA topic to be in a separate file.  Although it is often useful to organize things that way. 14 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 15. The Value DITA Brings  DITA enables blind interchange of content…  …without constraining markup design  DITA enables iterative development of XML applications as understanding and requirements evolve.  DITA provides many sophisticated features.  DITA provides deep open-source and commercial supporting infrastructure.  With DITA you can start small and simple and add sophistication as you need it. 15 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 16. DITA is an Architecture, Not a DTD  DITA is not a single XML vocabulary or tag set.  DITA is an architecture for defining new vocabularies that are inherently interoperable.  You can have your own special-purpose, use- case-specific markup.  Yet still reliably interchange and interoperate with any other DITA user.  It is almost magical.  It is the one aspect of DITA that distinguishes it from all other standard XML applications. 16 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 17. Did You say Blind Interchange?  By ―blind interchange‖ we mean anyone’s conforming DITA content can be combined with anyone else’s DITA content and be processed usefully with DITA-aware tools with no more negotiation than ―give us DITA-based content.‖  This works because of some basic rules and patterns DITA defines.  Coupled with the DITA-defined ―specialization‖ facility. 17 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 18. Publishing Is All About Interchange  Publishing is all about interchange:  Within an enterprise: re-use and repurposing  Between enterprises: licensing, aggregation, etc.  Between now and the future  Between producers and consumers  If DITA is about interchange…  And if DITA really does do interchange in a way that no other XML application does it…  Then DITA should be very attractive to Publishers. 18 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 19. DITA For Publishers: What is It?  DITA adapted to the specific needs of Publishers.  The things every Publisher needs:  Basic topic types: Part, Chapter, Article, Subsection, Sidebar  Publication map structures: metadata, etc.  Basic tool customizations and configurations  Word-to-DITA transforms  DITA-to-InDesign transforms  An open-source project: 19 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 20. DITA For Publishers: Why Is It?  Short answer: It makes my job easier  For Publishers coming to XML for the first time, provides the shortest path to a high-value XML solution.  For Publishers with existing XML, provides a potential path out of aging legacy technology or an attractive export target for interchange  Makes cost of entry to XML as low as it could possibly be.  Tools can offer more value through generic DITA support. 20 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 21. Getting Started With DITA for Publishers  Use basic topic types to capture content initially  As generic as they could be  Easy to convert to from legacy content  Use generic Pubmap to model publications.  Use out-of-the-box DITA Open Toolkit to generate some outputs: HTML, PDF, ePub (using DITA For Publishers ePub plugin).  Develop process for getting content into DITA- based XML (usually from Word).  Start understanding requirements in more detail.  Add specialized markup and processing as 21 needed. ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 22. Some Real-World Users  Magazine articles:  Editorial work done in Word.  DITA-based XML generated from Word.  InCopy articles generated from XML for use in highly- designed print magazine.  XML used to generate other forms: HTML, etc.  Trade books:  Editorial process takes many forms—impossible to do XML first.  Converted to DITA XML at end of print process.  DITA XML easily recombined, re-used, produced in different ways to various outputs. 22 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 23. More Real-World  Accounting standards: Codified GAAP Standards authored in DITA-based XML (predates DITA for Publishers).  XML published to Web server that generates HTML dynamically.  DITA-based XML licensed to publishers  Commentary  Textbooks  At least one publisher authoring their content in DITA for combination with GAAP DITA content. 23 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 24. Lots of Publishing Content is Very Modular  DITA is also all about modular content.  Lots of Publishing content is very modular:  Encyclopedias  Dictionaries  Nature and travel guides  Magazine articles  Chapters and sections in multi-author books  How-To guides  Serialized fiction …  So maybe a standard driven by modularity requirements isn’t such an odd idea after all…. 24 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 25. Some DITA-Supporting Tools (not an exhaustive list)  Processing and rendering:  DITA Open Toolkit (  DITA2Go (  DITA authoring:  OxygenXML  XMetal  Arbortext Editor  Xopus  Quark DITA Studio  DITA-aware content management:  RSuite CMS  DocZone DITA  IXIASOFT TextML Server 25 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 26. A vision of XML’s promise truly realized  We’ve tried, and failed, to do interchange with XML for 20+ years using monolithic vocabularies.  DITA offers a different way.  As Publishers start using DITA it will lower the cost of interchange and interoperation.  As the cost of interchange goes down the inherent value in the content goes up.  DITA For Publishers reflects a vision of a DITA- based content ecosystem where the promise of XML as a vehicle for interchange is finally realized. 26 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 27. DITA for Publishers: How Publishers Can Really Do XML QUESTIONS 27 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential
  • 28. Upcoming Webinars How RSuite Helped The MIT Press Transform Its Publishing Operation April 7, 2010 | 2:00 to 3:00 PM EST How DocZone DITA is helping Unica Corporation to achieve new production milestones and single-source publishing May 12, 2010 | 2:00 to 3:00 PM EST More Information: 28 ©2010 Really Strategies, Inc. | Confidential