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DITA 101 -- Why the Buzz

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DITA 101
DITA 101
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DITA 101 -- Why the Buzz

  1. 1. DITA 101: Why the Buzz? Sarah O'Keefe Scriptorium Publishing
  2. 2. About the presenter Sarah O'Keefe Founder and president, Scriptorium Publishing Consultant Experienced with lots of different publishing ideas, including XML and DITA
  3. 3. You've got questions... ...we've got answers Type any questions in the Question and Answer area of the GoToWebinar bar Sharon Burton, MadCap Product manager, will do her best to answer I will provide contact information if you need to follow up after the webinar
  4. 4. Housekeeping notes for this webinar You are muted. Feel free to talk...but we can't hear you. We’re recording this webinar for posterity. Your information will not appear in the final webinar. We will send you the download link in a follow-up email, which will also include... A short survey. Please fill it out so that we can make future webinars better. We should be done by the top of the hour. We know you have a busy day.
  5. 5. Overview What is DITA? Key DITA concepts Typical scenarios for DITA Is DITA right for you?
  6. 6. What is DITA? Darwin Information Typing Architecture Darwin – because you can evolve new elements from existing elements Information Typing – content is categorized as task, reference, concept Architecture – includes components for reuse, single sourcing, and generating output Developed by IBM, maintained by OASIS
  7. 7. Why is DITA important? Is DITA important? Structured authoring is creating content with programmatic enforcement of the required structure DITA is a gateway to structured authoring
  8. 8. What is DITA, really? XML standard Built for topic-oriented authoring A way to work in XML without having to design your own structure? A major buzzword in tech comm Cost-effective way to create, publish, reuse, and exchange structured content
  9. 9. DITA components Document type definitions (DTDs) Open Toolkit for generating output HTML, Eclipse help, CHM, and others through XSL PDF through XSL-FO Documentation
  10. 10. DITA publishing DITA topics DITA Open Toolkit HTML CHM PDF Eclipse help … DITA map fileDITA topics Links <topic> ... </topic> DITA map file <map> <topic>... </topic> <topic>... </topic> </map>
  11. 11. What DITA is not
  12. 12. It's more like this...
  13. 13. Is DITA better than XML?
  14. 14. Which is better?
  15. 15. DITA's niche Topic-oriented, modular content Content reuse Information exchange with other organization Semantic requirements are minimal Basic metadata (audience, platform, output) is adequate
  16. 16. DITA strengths Topic-oriented, modular Support for reuse of topics (map files) Support for reuse of content (content references) Specialization mechanism for customization of content model
  17. 17. DITA weaknesses Generic content model Output through Open Toolkit is rudimentary Specialization can be challenging
  18. 18. DITA topic (simplified) <topic id=”seuss”> <title>One tag, two tag</title> <body> <p>Red tag, blue</p> <p>Black tag, blue tag, old tag, new tag</p> <p>This one has a little car</p> <p>This one has a little star</p> <note>Say, what a lot of tags there are!</note> </body> </topic>
  19. 19. <?xml version="1.0"?> <!DOCTYPE dita PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Composite//EN" "ditabase.dtd"> <dita> <topic id="aardvark" audience="internal"> <title>Aardvark</title> <body> <p>Aardvarks eat mostly termites. </p> <p>Do not take the aardvarks' offer to help deal with your termite problem. You will <b>not</b> like the results.</p> <note type="danger" id="nofeeding">Do not feed animals snacks, scraps, or people food.</note> </body> </topic> </dita>
  20. 20. Key DITA concepts Topics Map files Content references (conrefs) Specialization
  21. 21. Topics Requires writing modular content Think about consistency and making pieces reusable A writing challenge rather than a technology challenge
  22. 22. Map files Let you organize topics sequentially and hierarchically Basis for creating books, help, deliverables
  23. 23. <?xml version="1.0"?> <!DOCTYPE map PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DITA Map//EN" "map.dtd"> rev="1" title="Zoo Policies" xml:lang="en-us"> <topicmeta> <author>Sarah</author> <critdates> <created date="2006/10/31"/> <revised modified="2009/01/31"/> </critdates> </topicmeta> <topicref href="Animal_nutrition.xml" navtitle="Animal nutrition" type="reference"> <topicref href="Aardvark.xml" navtitle="Aardvark" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Baboon.xml" navtitle="Baboon" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Crane.xml" navtitle="Crane" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Dingo.xml" navtitle="Dingo" type="topic"/> </topicref> <topicref href="Visitor_behavior.xml" navtitle="Visitor behavior" type="topic"> <topicref href="Adults.xml" navtitle="Adults" type="topic"/> <topicref href="Children.xml" navtitle="Children" type="topic"/> </topicref> </map>
  24. 24. conrefs <topic id="aardvark"> ... <note type="danger" id="nofeeding">Do not feed animals snacks, scraps, or people food. … <topic> Named destination in Aardvark.xml id="baboon"> <title>Baboon</title> <body> <p>Baboons eat mostly fruit.</p> <p> <note conref="Aardvark.xml#aardvark/nofeeding"/> </p> </body> </topic> Link in Baboon.xml
  25. 25. Specialization Lets you create additional elements without breaking DITA Open Toolkit processing. New element is a specialization of the base element. This is what put the D in DITA.
  26. 26. The structure you need versus the structure you have... Customization Subsetting Specialization
  27. 27. Customization
  28. 28. Subsetting
  29. 29. Specialization
  30. 30. Business case for XML Content exchange Database publishing Reuse content/reduce duplication Automated formatting/publishing Compliance
  31. 31. Beyond XML's business case, DITA may... Reduce content modeling effort Make content truly portable Support content reuse Take advantage of software support Provide output options Reduce overall cost of implementation
  32. 32. Reduce content modeling effort Assume that DITA structure is a reasonable match Speed up the transition to structure But what if DITA doesn't match? Does your industry have special requirements?
  33. 33. Make content truly portable Do you need to send content to a customer, partner, vendor, other department? Will they standardize on DITA?
  34. 34. Support content reuse Map files for topic reuse conrefs for smaller reuse
  35. 35. Software support DITA support found in many (most?) XML authoring tools Some tools support only DITA and not general XML
  36. 36. Provide output options XHTML, HTML Help, PDF, Eclipse, DocBook, JavaHelp, troff, Word RTF through DITA Open Toolkit Starting point for output Not suitable for production workflow Customization is difficult and time-consuming
  37. 37. Is DITA right for you?
  38. 38. Yes. DITA meets all requirements. A business partner or customer requires DITA content. Single sourcing is a requirement. No existing content. Can be flexible with markup requirements to make implementation faster.
  39. 39. No. Content must conform to a specific standard, such as S1000D Content is and should remain narrative. Semantic requirements are industry-specific, complex, and/or strict.
  40. 40. Maybe DITA is not an exact match. Customization/specialization would be required.
  41. 41. Contact information Sarah O'Keefe Scriptorium Publishing +1 919 481-2701 x102
  42. 42. Questions
  43. 43. Thanks! Thank you to Madcap Software for organizing. Thank you to participants for attending.