DITA Quick Start
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Gone through articles and presentations on the web and got a half-baked understanding of the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)? ...

Gone through articles and presentations on the web and got a half-baked understanding of the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)?

Refer to my DITA Quick Start presentation for the 2007 STC India Conference to learn to evaluate, plan and start implementing DITA.

In this presentation, you will learn about the following:

o Structured authoring and XML
o Key DITA concepts: topics, maps, specialization
o DITA architecture and content model
o Authoring in topics
o Organizing content using DITA maps
o Creating relationship tables
o Conditional text and reuse in DITA
o Metadata support in DITA
o DITA tools, standards and processes
o Publishing with the DITA Open Toolkit

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  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • With 60 slides buying, DITA fundamentals book is an option.. Afer viewing, you feel to delve on more advance topic that saves some bucks for beginners book.
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  • Great introduction to DITA.
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  • Have linked this from my blog on DITA at: http://www.ditawriter.com/?p=27 -- nice intro to the subject!
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  • Hi Selvakumar, I am impressed with this presentation. It clearly describes the merits of DITA. Thanks for the knowledge sharing. Will you be able to share this presentation?

    Thanks, Rajkumar
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DITA Quick Start DITA Quick Start Presentation Transcript

  • DITA Quick Start Selvakumar T.S 1 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Agenda • A quick look at XML • Understand DITA’s overall approach • Understand DITA’s core content structures and how you can customize them • U d t d th scope f reuse i DITA Understand the for in • See DITA at work!! 2 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • A Quick Look at XML 3 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • The difference between HTML and XML • HTML defines how content is formatted in a web browser; XML defines what the content is. • HTML provides a set of predefined tags; XML provides a syntax that allows p p g ; p y users to define their own tags. XML is like a database!! HTML Example XML Example <ul> <family> <li>Joseph Clark</li> p <father><name>Joseph Clark</name></father> <li>Mary Clark </li> <mother><name>Mary Clark</name></mother> <offspring> <li>Jennifer Clark</li> <child><name>Jennifer Clark</name></child> <li>Joseph C a II</li> Josep Clark / <child><name>Joseph Clark</name></child> <li>Taylor Clark</li> <child><name>Taylor Clark</name></child> </ul> </offspring> </family> 4 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Extend tagging through elements and attributes to improve data accessibility • XML tagging can be extended as data access requirements change: – For example, you can add a “surname” element to identify the last name for sorting purposes • Attributes provide information about your data: – Adding an attribute called “gender” to the “child” element allows you to distinguish boys from girls – Examples of possible attribute applications for content: • Product Name, Product Version, etc. <?xml version= 1.0 ?> version=“1 0”?> <family> <father><name>Joseph<surname>Clark</surname></name></father> <mother><name>Mary <surname>Clark</surname</name></mother> <offspring> <child gender=“girl”><name>Jennifer<surname>Clark</surname></name></child> <child gender=“boy”><name.Joseph <surname>Clark</surname></name></child> <child gender=“girl”><name>Taylor<surname>Clark</surname></name></child> </offspring> </family> 5 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Does extensibility lead to chaos? • If XML allows custom elements and attributes, how do we ensure consistency of information and formatting across many authoring groups? • We define a Document Type Definition (DTD) that allows us to set rules: – Element definitions – Required or not? – Number of elements allowed and whether ordering rules apply – What the elements can contain • Other elements • Text • Attributes • Predefined attribute values 6 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • The benefits of XML • XML is a text format that follows an open standard – Is not bound to proprietary authoring tools or formats – Is platform-independent, enabling easy information exchange platform-independent • Enables information reuse at the sub-document level – Hierarchical nesting of markup tags creates containers of content within a document – Referencing an element includes the information contained within that element, allowing reuse of information at multiple levels of granularity: an entire topic, a set of steps or individual step; a g p , p p; glossary entry ( y y (term + definition) • Separates content from formatting – Different groups/formats can point to the same piece of content without g reformatting or retagging the information – Enables dynamic transformation of data If XML can do all this, why do we need XML standards for technical documentation? y 7 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Need for XML standards for technical documentation • Document-centric XML didn’t grow nearly as fast as data-centric XML. XML standards bodies focused more on d data-centric standards. i d d • Home-built DTDs a challenge “Companies often spend tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars developing p p p g custom DTDs, yet they often turn out to be inflexible and costly to maintain” - JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services • Need for more collaborative authoring within and across organizations 8 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • XML standards for technical documentation • Two “popular” open source standards – DocBook – DITA • Each standard takes fundamentally different approaches • DocBook – Best suited for linear content: books and articles. – DTD covers all possible authoring requirements. – Does not support truly modular content. pp y – Incomplete reuse and cross-referencing mechanisms – Difficult to customize the DocBook DTD. Customization is through hiding of elements that are not required. g g Does DITA solve core documentation challenges? 9 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • What is DITA? • DITA = Darwin Information Typing Architecture • Developed by IBM • Now an OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) standard – Current version: 1 1 1.1 “We propose the XML-based Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) as an end-to-end architecture for creating and delivering modular technical information.” — Michael Priestley, IBM 10 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • High-Level DITA Architecture • DITA XML architecture is based on a Topic DTD and a Map DTD • DITA information architecture is based on topics ─ units of information that serve as building blocks for all content • DITA maps assemble topics for specific documentation deliverables 11 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Core design principles of DITA • Topic orientation – Discrete units of information covering a specific subject with a specific intent • Topic granularity – Topics combine with other topics into information sets • Consistency y – DITA DTDs guarantee that DITA information types follow identical information structures • Separation of content (specific topics) from context (links to other topics, files, topics files navigation) – Not just separation of content from formatting!! • Inheritance – Has a top level “generic” information type from which other types inherit top-level generic their structures • Specialization – Ability to extend basic information types for special uses y yp p 12 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Topics in DITA Topic: a unit of information that is meaningful when it stands alone alone. 13 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • About DITA topics • A chunk of information specific to a single subject. • Short enough to be specific to a single subject or answer a single question. • Long enough to make sense on its own and be authored as a unit unit. • Each topic must follow the rules for a specific information type. yp • DITA prescribes three information types: – Concept – T k Task – Reference • Topic files can have the .dita or .xml extension p 14 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Information types in DITA DITA’s base information type Conceptual or overview information Reference information Procedural, step- Can I have a topic that has a by-step information mix of information types? 15 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Why only 3 information types? • Standards like Information Mapping have six information types: – Procedure – Process – Structure – Concept – Principle – Fact • IBM itself had 12 information types before DITA: – Conceptual C t l – Error – General Reference – Glossary – Language Reference g g – Mapping – Orientation – Sample – Task – Troubleshooting – UI Reference – Walkthrough/Tutorial Why only three information types in DITA? 16 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Why only 3 information types in DITA? • DITA considers that other information types are basically derivatives of the three core information types: Concept, Task d R f T k and Reference. • If required, you can customize the core information types to derive other information types using DITA specialization. • Bottomline: DITA does not claim to cover all requirements. It covers a base set or requirements and allow other requirements to be covered by extensions. 17 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Concept topics • Concept topics introduce the background or overview information for task or reference topics. • Concept topics should not describe task or reference information. • Concept topics have the restriction that following a section or example, only other sections or examples are permitted as content. This ensures that readers are not confused about the content between sections or examples. • Chunking rule: In a concept topic, explain only one topic concept. 18 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Concept topic structure <concept> <title> <titlealts> <navtitle><searchtitle> <shortdesc> <prolog> <conbody> <section> | <example> <related-links> 19 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Concept topic example 20 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Task topics • Task topics describe the steps of a particular task, or provide an overview of a higher-level task. • Task topics should not describe conceptual or reference information. • Chunking rule: In a task topic describe how to do only topic, one task. 21 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Task topic structure <task> <title> <titlealts> <shortdesc> <prolog> p g <taskbody> <prereq> <context> <steps> <result> <example> <postreq> <related-links> 22 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Task topic example 23 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Reference topics • Reference topics provide quick access to facts. They describe product features, commands, and so on. • Information needed for deeper understanding of a reference topic or to perform related procedures should be provided in a concept or task topic topic. • Reference topics should be designed for quick scanning of information using lists, tables, and such. • Reference topics should not describe conceptual or task information. • Chunking rule: In a reference topic explain only one topic, subject─for example, explain only one command. 24 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Reference topic structure <reference> <title> <titlealts> <shortdesc> <prolog> p g <refbody> <example> | <section> | <refsyn> | <table> | <simpletable> | <properties> p p <related-links> 25 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Reference topic example 26 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Why structure topics by information type? • Benefits for Writers – Standard, consistent structures for authoring content – Writers can use topic types to more effectively outline information needs d – Helps to analyze information according to the purpose or function it serves for the reader – Organizing common types of information with topics help writers spend more ti time f focused on authoring content d th i t t – Choice for selecting the best and most consistent way to present information, based on information type – Identify missing information – Breaking down information into chunks helps in better planning and work distribution among writers • Benefits for Users/Readers – Standard content structure helps readers to quickly identify a topic’s topic s purpose – Readers learn and retain different types of information better when they are written in a consistent, predictable way 27 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • DITA Maps DITA maps assemble topics into a coherent set for documentation deliverables deliverables. 28 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • About DITA maps • Ability to reuse and repurpose the same content for different deliverable types and for deliverables for different audiences and products. diff di d d • Maps can include DITA topic (.dita) files, XML (.xml), files, files HTML files PDFs and more files, PDFs, more. • Same topic can be referred to more than once in a map or in different maps. • Maps can be nested into other maps to build documentation deliverables. • Maps can be combined together manually or using scripts during the production process. • DITA map files have the .ditamap extension. p p 29 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Different deliverables using DITA maps Quick Topic 1 Start Guide Topic 2 User Guide Topic 3 Reference Topic 4 30 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Different formats using DITA maps 31 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Map structure <map> <topichead> <topicref> <reltable> <anchor> <navref> <topicgroup> <topicmeta> 32 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • DITA Map example • Example of DITA map in XMetaL 33 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • DITA maps do more!! • Separate of content (specific topics) from context (links to other topics, files, navigation) – Links are specified in the DITA map and not in the topic file itself. Helps topics remain p p p p p “stand alone”. – Links are automatically generated for the topics from the DITA maps. Helps automatically update links if topic title or topic file location changes. • Build a relationship table to generate “related topics” links – Goes beyond sequential ordering – Similar to creating cross references, but moves linking mechanism from content into the map – Links are generated only in the output version of the topics – Increases reusability—no broken links when taking a piece of content out of context • Sets properties of the topic at a position within the hierarchy – Properties include the title and metadata – Can change the topic title relative to the parent topic – Metadata can identify a topic as advanced for one deliverable and basic for another • Can provide multiple views on the same topics: by product, by task, by topic type, audience and so on. 34 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Metadata Support in DITA 35 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Metadata support in DITA • DITA supports a variety of standard and custom metadata: – Author information – Copyright information – Product information – Resource IDs for help systems – Document tracking information – Audience information – Keywords – Custom metadata (otherprops) • Metadata is supported using the <prolog> element in topics and <topicmeta> in maps. • Metadata at every level !! 36 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Metadata elements within <prolog> element <prolog> <author> (name of topic’s author) <copyright> <critdates> (document tracking information) <permissions> <publisher> <source> <metadata> <audience> (intended audience) type=“user | purchaser | administrator | … | other” othertype= job=“installing | customizing | administering | … | other” otherjob= experiencelevel=“novice | general | expert” <category> (content category used for grouping topics) <keywords> (keywords for search engines) <prodinfo> <othermeta> 37 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Reuse in DITA 38 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Reuse in DITA • Reuse flows from the topic-based paradigm – Topics can be reused in different contexts – Topics from multiple components can be integrated as a solution • Reuse methods – Element level Element-level reuse with <conref> – Topic-level reuse with <topicref> – Map-level reuse with <navref> and <anchorref> – Conditional reuse C diti l 39 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Element level reuse with <conref> • Conrefs are a way to reference content from the same or another DITA file Example – Code in source file source.dita: <step id="commonstep"><cmd>This step exists in a common file and is added p p p with a conref.</cmd></step> – Code in target file B: <step conref=“source.dita#task/commonstep"><cmd></cmd></step> Note that the <cmd> tags are included even through they will be replaced by the conreffed information. 40 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Conditional reuse • DITA gives you four ways of tagging conditionally using AND/OR logic: – Audience – Platform – Product – Otherprops Example: The king and queen of Olympus are <ph audience="greek">Zeus</ph><ph audience="roman">Jupiter</ph> di " k">Z </ h>< h di " ">J it </ h> and <ph audience="greek">Hera</ph><ph audience="roman">Juno</ph>. – When audience= greek is set to include this reads audience=“greek” include, The king and queen of Olympus are Zeus and Hera. – When audience=“roman” is set to include, this reads The king a d quee o O y pus a e Jup te a d Ju o e g and queen of Olympus are Jupiter and Juno. 41 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Specialization in DITA 42 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Topics inherit from DITA’s base “Topic”… …making it possible to extend through specialization. 43 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Specialization • Inheritance means that new document structures don’t break don t publishing toolchains • Specialization can occur in topics, maps, or domains 44 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Specialization: Specializing Topics • Topic is the core. • Each specialization is a delta in design, and if it needs special processing that's a delta too. 45 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Specialization: Specializing Maps • While DITA maps are flexible by default, you can use map specialization to define or enforce a particular type of sequence. sequence 46 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Specialization: Specializing Domains • DITA domains extend DITA with a set of elements whose names and content models are unique to an organization or field of knowledge. For example, you may have elements specific to documenting software. d ti ft • Specialization lets domain-specific elements inherit from existing elements. 47 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • DITA Tools 48 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • DITA tools • Modeling tools – IBM Task Modeler-for creating DITA maps ( p (http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/taskmodeler) p ) • Authoring tools – Arbortext Epic Editor (http://www.ptc.com/) – XMetal (http://www.justsystems.com/) – Syntext Serna (http://www.syntext.com) – FrameMaker 8 with Adobe FrameMaker 8 Plug-in for DITA Open Toolkit (http://www.adobe.com/devnet/framemaker/fm8_opentoolkit.html) (http://www adobe com/devnet/framemaker/fm8 opentoolkit html) – DITA Storm (browser-based DITA editor) (http://www.ditastorm.com/onlineDitaEditor.html) • Production tools – DITA Open Toolkit (http://dita-ot.sourceforge.net/) • Content management systems – Astoria CMS, EMC Documentum, PTC Windchill, SiberLogic Sibersafe, Vasont CMS …. V t 49 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • IBM Task Modeler for DITA maps • IBM was using Rational Rose XDE Developer for content modeling • Need for a customized modeling tool resulted in the IBM Task Modeler: http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/taskmodeler http://www alphaworks ibm com/tech/taskmodeler • Eclipse-based plugin for modeling tasks and designing DITA maps 50 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • DITA Open Toolkit: the DITA production pipeline • Provides the th i P id th authoring and production i f t t d d ti infrastructure f DITA for DITA. • Open source: http://dita-ot.sourceforge.net/ • Supported outputs: – HTML – XHTML – Eclipse help – HTML Help p – Java Help – PDF using XSL-FO 51 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • DITA Open Toolkit • Consists of DTD, XML schema, stylesheets, samples, and documentation for DITA. • Open source infrastructure • Ant for builds • FOP for XSL-FO to PDF • Xalan or Saxon for XSL-T processing to HTML/xHTML output • Java 52 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • DITA Resources 53 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • DITA Resources • DITA Standard OASIS DITA Technical Committee http://www.oasis- open.org/committees/dita / i /di • DITA Articles – XML Cover Pages: http://xml coverpages org/dita html http://xml.coverpages.org/dita.html – DITA Users: http://www.ditausers.org/ – http://dita.xml.org – http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-dita1/ htt // 128 ib /d l k / l/lib / dit 1/ – http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?q=DITA • Books on DITA – Introduction to DITA: A User Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture by Jen Linton and Kylene Bruski, Comtech Services ( http://www.comtech-serv.com/dita.shtml ) p 54 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • DITA Resources • DITA Demos / Webinars – FrameMaker 8 Deep Dive: DITA Topic-based authoring https://admin.adobe.acrobat.com/_a227210/p76122134/ htt // d i d b b t / 227210/ 76122134/ – <several> • DITA User Groups p – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dita-users/ – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/framemaker-dita/ – http://dita xml org/user groups http://dita.xml.org/user-groups 55 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Real life DITA examples • WebSphere Application Server Documentation http://www- 306.ibm.com/software/webservers/appserv/was/library/ 306 ibm com/software/webservers/appserv/was/library/ • Adobe Creative Suite documentation • Adobe Acrobat documentation • Apache Derby documentation • Eclipse documentation 56 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • DITA Demo 57 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Use DITA maps for content Typical DITA workflow modeling !! 1. Identify the task topics. 2. Identify the concept and reference topics needed to support the task topics. 3. Create the topics. 4. Use 4 U DITA maps to assemble t i f each t bl topics for h documentation deliverable. 5. Publish and deliver the content. Architect Write Build Eclipse help JavaHelp HTMLHelp Web pages Books & PDFs Learning Information Topics Build Outputs Architecture Maps Map 58 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • 59 August 9, 2009 Cadence Confidential: Cadence Internal Use Only
  • Thanks for your p y participation!! p