DITA Quick Start for Authors - Part I


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Introduction to XML and Structured Authoring • Overview of DITA • Topics: The Basic Information Types • Maps: Assembling Topics into Deliverables • Common elements and attributes • Metadata • Examples and exercises

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DITA Quick Start for Authors - Part I

  1. 1. DITA Quick Start Workshop for Authors: Part I Joe Gelb August 21, 2013
  2. 2. Who is this guy? Joe Gelb • Founder and President of Suite Solutions Suite Solutions Our Vision: Enable you to engage your customers by providing quick access to relevant information: DITA provides the foundation • Help companies get it right the first time • XML-based Authoring/Publishing Solutions • Enterprise Intelligent Dynamic Content: SuiteShare Social KB • Consultancy, Systems Integration, Application Development • Cross-Industry Expertise • High Tech, Aerospace & Defense, Discrete Manufacturing • Healthcare, Government • Blue Chip Customer Base • Hundreds of Person Years of Experience on Staff
  3. 3. Introduction to DITA: Main Topics Part I • Introduction to XML • Overview of DITA Part II • Topics: The Basic Information Types • Maps: Assembling Topics into Deliverables • Linking Methods
  4. 4. Why XML? Challenges of documentation groups • Multi-purpose documents for multiple products, audiences, configurations, etc. • Multi-channel publishing into many formats from the same source • Reduce localization and desktop publishing costs • Reuse content for multiple documents, across the organization and product lifecycle • Provide more accessible, searchable, focused and updated content to internal and external customers
  5. 5. Why XML? • Helps us to better manage content • Separates the formatting from the content • Separates the structure from the content • Separates the application from the content • You and your content are independent of any vendor or application • No more expensive conversions • World of standard tools available for use
  6. 6. Why XML? • Allows authors to focus on writing, not formatting • Permits multiple output formats to be applied to the same content, automatically • Allows you to add new outputs without affecting the authoring process • Allows content to be managed based on its hierarchical structure • Once an XML system is up and running, per-page costs can drop dramatically
  7. 7. What is XML? XML is based on SGML Standard Generalized Markup Language • Standard–Explicit, consistent, non-proprietary • Generalized–Extensible, not limited to a particular implementation or application • Markup–“Tags” embedded within documents • Language–defines content (elements, attributes) and their allowable usage • First version was GML in 1984 • SGML became an ISO Standard in 1986 • HTML was first used in 1994 (HyperText Markup Language) • XML was recommended as an W3C standard in 1999
  8. 8. XML vs. SGML • SGML and related standards are complex • Contains features rarely used • Difficult and expensive to implement • XML is a subset of SGML • XML is simpler yet offers most of the power of SGML • Easier (and less expensive) to process • About 90% of all SGML applications can easily transition to XML
  9. 9. Introduction to XML What is “markup”? • Describes the content in the document: • semantics vs. format • Uses elements and attributes to do this • Elements describe structure <task> <step> <figure> <result> • Attributes give more information about the content <task id=“T123” audience=“technician”> • Each element has an open and close tag <caution>Stay awake!</caution>
  10. 10. Introduction to XML Which markup can you use? • Can use elements and attributes which have been defined in the DTD (Document Type Definition) or Schema • A parser is a computer program that validates that the markup follows the DTD/schema • The parser is used during authoring, importing, exporting, publishing • Makes sure the documents follow the rules of the standard
  11. 11. Introduction to XML Which markup can you use? • An XML standard is a set of elements and attributes that everyone agrees to use • If your documents follow the standard, then you can use all the tools that work with that standard • Widely used standards: • DITA • S1000D, SCORM • ATA2100, iSpec 2200 • Docbook
  12. 12. SGML, HTML, and XML in Context Bill Wheat, Delta Airlines
  13. 13. Moving from Format to Structure Bill Wheat, Delta Airlines
  14. 14. XML: Visualizing Structure Bill Wheat, Delta Airlines
  15. 15. XML: Visualizing Structure Bill Wheat, Delta Airlines
  16. 16. XML: Visualizing Structure Bill Wheat, Delta Airlines
  17. 17. Structure Rules Presentation Rules (Style Sheet) Document Instance Presentation Content, Structure, Presentation • Document Type Definition (DTD) • Schema • XML • Media, graphics • XSL • XSL-FO • CSS • PDF • HTML • DOCX • SVG • …
  18. 18. Introduction to DITA: Main Topics  Introduction to XML • Overview of DITA • Topics: The Basic Information Types • Maps: Assembling Topics into Deliverables • Linking Methods
  19. 19. Overview of DITA • Darwin Information Typing Architecture • Topic-based information development • Not just a DTD: an architecture for designing, authoring, managing and reusing content • OASIS standard • Open Toolkit (DITA-OT) for producing outputs: multi-channel publishing
  20. 20. Overview of DITA • Facilitates categorization, minimalization, with semantic tagging  Minimalization = including information in a technical document only when and where it is useful • Facility for customization within the standard: specialization (based on inheritance, thus Darwin) • Open Source: DTDs, schemas, DITA Open Toolkit are free • Active user and development community
  21. 21. Topic-Based Content • Topics • Each topic answers a single question • Only enough information to understand one concept, perform one procedure or provide one set of reference information • Maps • Assemble topics into deliverables using DITA Maps • Define relationships between topics in relationship tables
  22. 22. DITA Facilitates Reuse • Assemble topics into deliverables • Reference topic elements within other topics: conrefs (content references) • Conditionalize content within topics using conditional attributes • Filter content based on conditions to get multi-purpose outputs (conditional processing) • Manage links separately from the content using relationship tables
  23. 23. Typical DITA Toolset Content Management System Manuals Mobile Help Automated Publishing - DITA Open Toolkit - DITA Accelerator CMS XML Authoring Web Help Localization Management Bridge to LSPs SME Review On-demand Dynamic Docs - SuiteShare - LiveContent Arbortext Editor
  24. 24. Introduction to DITA: Main Topics  Introduction to XML  Overview of DITA • Topics: The Basic Information Types • Maps: Assembling Topics into Deliverables • Linking Methods
  25. 25. DITA Quick Start End of Part I Join us for Part II August 27, 2013 For additional information, contact: Joe Gelb solutions@suite-sol.com U.S. Office EMEA Office (609) 360-0650 +972-2-993-8054 www.suite-sol.com Follow us on Linked-In