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Overview of DITA 1.3


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Presented by Kristen James Eberlein at the IXIASOFT User Conference 2015.

Panel with Keith Schengili-Roberts, IXIASOFT DITA Information Architect, Kristen James Eberlein, DITA Specialist and Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee, Yan Periard, and Leigh W. White

This panel presentation will discuss the features of the IXIASOFT DITA CMS related to DITA 1.3. Panellists will describe the key new enhancements coming with DITA 1.3, and the features within the DITA CMS that will support them. This session will explore not only the implications of DITA 1.3 for content creators and information architects, but the role that IXIASOFT plays in guiding the development of the standard as a member of OASIS, and the types of features IXIASOFT is working on to support this significant update to the standard.

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Overview of DITA 1.3

  1. 1. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Overview of DITA 1.3 Kristen James Eberlein Eberlein Consulting LLC IXIASOFT User Conference 2015 Montreal, Canada
  2. 2. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Agenda 1. What is OASIS? The DITA TC? 2. My background 3. Who are you? 4. DITA 1.3 for authors 5. DITA 1.3 for architects 6. Question and answers
  3. 3. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC What is OASIS?  OASIS = Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards  A nonprofit consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society
  4. 4. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC What is the OASIS DITA Technical Committee?  A group of 16 people who meet on a telephone call each week for 60 minutes.  All volunteer, no paid staff  Tools poor: No CCMs, we use SVN …  We rely on the “kindness of vendors”  We (or our corporate employers) pay so that we can participate in developing DITA.
  5. 5. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Who am I?  Involved with DITA TC since 2008; currently chair  Co-editor of the DITA 1.2 and 1.3 specifications  Background as a information architect and information developer  Trained as a historian  Available for consulting :)
  6. 6. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Who are you? Role Responsibilities DITA author Develops information in DITA DITA information architect Develops maps, content models, reuse strategies, and taxonomies DITA practitioner Develops document-type shells, specializations, and constraints DITA developer • Develops transformations • Develops processors and applications
  7. 7. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC DITA 1.3 for authors 1. Troubleshooting 2. Context-sensitive help 3. Table enhancements 4. New domains – MathML and SVG – Release management – XML mention 5. New highlighting elements 6. New deliveryTarget attribute 7. Addressing same-topic elements 8. Learning and training 9. New <sort-as> element 10. Miscellaneous fixes DITA 1.3 for architects and practitioners 1. Scoped keys 2. Cross-deliverable linking 3. Branch filtering 4. RELAX NG 5. Cascade attribute 6. Grouped filtering attributes 7. <div> element 7
  8. 8. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC DITA for authors …
  9. 9. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Troubleshooting  New type of <note>: Trouble  New element in <step>: <steptroubleshooting>  New section in <task>: <tasktroubleshooting>  New document type: <troubleshooting> Champion: DITA Technical Communication subcommittee, with special thanks to Bob Thomas, Tagsmiths
  10. 10. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Context-sensitive help  Better support for requirements of online help systems  Enables: – Embedding context-hook information in DITA topic and maps – Specifying windowing metadata in a DITA map – Delivering online help without using an additional Help Authoring Tool (HAT) Champion: DITA Help subcommittee, with special thanks to Tony Self and Stan Doherty
  11. 11. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Changes to tables  Control over orientation (tables) and rotation of text (table cells)  New attributes (@scope and @headers) for <entry>  Enables: – Better control over formatting for print-based output formats – Improves accessibility for very complex tables that cannot be simplified Champions: Chris Nitchie (Oberon Technologies), Scott Hudson (Comtech)
  12. 12. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC New domains (1 of 2)  SVG – Enables use of SVG markup within DITA documents, as well as use-by-reference of SVG markup stored in other files  Equation and MathML – Support for numbered, in-line, and block equations – Enables use of MathML markup within DITA documents, as well as use-by-reference of MathML markup stored in other files Champion: Eliot Kimber, Individual member (Contrext)
  13. 13. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC New domains (2 of 2) XML mention – Describe and document XML applications and document types  Used in DITA 1.3 spec Release management  Enables content authors to log comments and metadata when content is changed  Available in both maps and topics  Makes generated release notes a possibility! 13 Champions: Eliot Kimber, Individual member (Contrext) and the DITA TechComm subcommittee, with special thanks to Tom Cihak, Freescale
  14. 14. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC  <line-through> – Enable authors to indicate a deletion or revision for rhetorical purpose  <overline> – Indicates content that should be rendered with a line above it New highlighting elements 14 Champion: Eliot Kimber, Individual member (Contrext)
  15. 15. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC @deliveryTarget attribute  A new conditional processing attribute to replace the now-deprecated @print. Available both in topics and maps.  Enables: – More finely controlled filtering for output formats – Values are controlled by implementation; infinite possibilities. Champion: Eliot Kimber, Individual member (Contrext)
  16. 16. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC  Link to an ID in the same topic more easily.  For example, link to a figure in the SAME topic by placing a period after the hash tag (<xref=“#./figure1”> Addressing same-topic elements 16 Champion: David Helfinstine, PTC
  17. 17. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Changes to learning and training  New document types  New domains for learning interactions  Enables: – Learning groups and learning objects to be stored as objects in a repository – Enables block-level content in question-and-answer interactions – a serious pain point in DITA 1.2! Champions: DITA learning & Training subcommittee and Mark Myers, SAP
  18. 18. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC  Can provide a sorting phrase for the content of an element  Useful for sorting in non-Western languages such as Japanese <sort-as> element 18 Champion: Eliot Kimber, Individual member (Contrext)
  19. 19. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC  <cite> in titles  @rev on <title>  <draft-comment> in more places  <sub> and <sup> available in <indexterm>  Et cetera Miscellaneous fixes 19
  20. 20. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC DITA for information architects and practitioners …
  21. 21. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Scoped keys  Provides a mechanism to have a single key resolve to different references in different parts of a map.  Enables: – Material from different companies or teams to be combined without key collision.  Example: – Acme uses the key “company-products” to point to an overview of their products. – But so does Ajax  – With scoped keys, the content from these two companies can be combined in a single deliverable. Champion: Chris Nitchie, Oberon Technologies
  22. 22. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Scoped keys: Use cases  Omnibus publications – Combine multiple standalone maps – Define a key scope for each standalone map to prevent key collisions  Multi-product publications – Each product has common keys: overview, installing … – Wrap each product area in a key scope to segregate key definitions  Template topics – Reuse a set of topics with keyrefs for graphics and variable text
  23. 23. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Scoped keys: Example <map> <title>CIDM DITA Conferences</title> <topichead navtitle="DITA Europe" keyscope="dita-europe"> <keydef keys="hotel" href="holidayinn-munich.dita" /> <topicref href="aboutTheConference.dita" /> </topichead> < topichead navtitle="DITA North America" keyscope="dita-na"> <keydef keys="hotel" href="westin-seattle.dita" /> <topicref href="aboutTheConference.dita" /> </topichead> </map>
  24. 24. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Cross-deliverable addressing  Mechanism for referencing content in another root map – Key-based; utilizes key scopes  Enables: – Production of large omnibus publications – Useful for companies with large, cross- linked publications Champion: Eliot Kimber, Individual member (Contrext)
  25. 25. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC  Ability to reference multiple DITAVAL profiles within maps – On the root map – On a map branch  Previously, only a single DITAVAL profile could be associated with a master map.  Makes reuse more powerful – Can reuse a topic multiple times in a map, each time with different filtering conditions – Common use cases: • Installation instructions that vary by operating system • Medical instructions to vary for adult patient vs. adult caretaker of child Branch filtering 25 Champion: Robert Anderson, IBM
  26. 26. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Support for RELAX NG  RELAX NG becomes the normative XML grammar for DITA  Enables: – Single-sourcing of DTDs and XSDs from the RELAX NG – Much easier to create document-type shells and specializations  GitHub utility for generating DTD and XSD from RELAX NG source Champion: Eliot Kimber, Individual member (Contrext) – and special thanks to George Bina, SyncroSoft
  27. 27. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC  Enables architects to change default cascading behavior for filtering attributes in maps  Consider the following DITA 1.2 example: @cascade attribute (1 of 2) 27 <map product=“Widget" platform="windows mac linux"> <title>All about Widget</title> <!-- .... --> <topichead navtitle="Linux install” platform="linux"> <!– Only applies to Linux --> <!-- .... --> </topichead> </map>
  28. 28. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC28 @cascade attribute (2 of 2) <map product=“Widget" platform="windows mac linux"> <title>All about Widget</title> <!-- .... --> <topichead navtitle="Linux install” platform="linux“ cascade=“nomerge” > <!– Only applies to Linux --> </topichead> </map> Adding the @cascade attribute controls whether values set higher in the map cascade to the element. Champion: Robert Anderson, IBM
  29. 29. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC  The filtering attributes (audience, platform, product, and otherprops) now accept grouped values.  Makes it possible for users to filter content based on a combination of products, audiences, or platforms. Expanded syntax for filtering attributes (1 of 2) 29 Champion: Robert Anderson, IBM
  30. 30. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC  DITA 1.2 <step product=“db2 oracle was”>  DITA 1.3 <step product="database(db2 oracle) appserver(WAS)">  Can filter on attribute subcategory. For example, allows authors to filter on "database" and "appserver" without the two interfering with each other. Expanded syntax for filtering attributes (2 of 2.) 30
  31. 31. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC  Useful as a specialization base – Can group multiple block-level elements – Used in new learning & training domain  Useful for authors – Can group blocks of elements for reuse <div> element 31 Champion: Eliot Kimber, Individual member (Contrext)
  32. 32. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Questions? Kristen James Eberlein Eberlein Consulting, LLC Durham, NC, USA +1 (919) 682-2290 kriseberlein on Skype
  33. 33. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Resources: DITA 1.3  DITA 1.3 specification The URL links to the most recent official version of the specification. In October 2015, it linked to the Candidate OASIS Standard, published 3 September 2015.  DITA 1.3: Why Three Editions? Working draft 04, 29 October 2015.  Overview of DITA 1.3 PDFs of presentations given by Kristen James Eberlein (Eberlein Consulting LLC) at conferences in 2014  DITA 1.3 Webinar PDF and link to recording of a Webinar jointly sponsored by the DITA TC and DITA Adoption TC in August 2014.  Demo of key scopes Illustration of using key scopes with Titania Delivery. Shows the DITA source and rendering with and without key scopes.
  34. 34. © 2015 Eberlein Consulting, LLC Resources: Adoption TC feature articles  Understanding Scoped Keys in DITA 1.3 Authored by Leigh W. White (IXIASOFT); published September 2015.  About the DITA 1.3 release management domain Authored by Tom Cihak (Freescale) and Keith Schengli-Roberts (IXIASOFT); published June 2015.  Using DITA 1.3 Troubleshooting Authored by Bob Thomas (Tagsmiths); published July 2014  Making the Most of the New Math Domains in DITA 1.3 Authored by Autumn Cuellar (Design Science), published April 2015.