DITA 101 -- Why the Buzz

Scriptorium Publishing
Scriptorium PublishingScriptorium Publishing
DITA 101: Why the Buzz?
Sarah O'Keefe
Scriptorium Publishing
About the presenter
Sarah O'Keefe
Founder and president, Scriptorium Publishing
Consultant
Experienced with lots of different publishing
ideas, including XML and DITA
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
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.
Overview
What is DITA?
Key DITA concepts
Typical scenarios for DITA
Is DITA right for you?
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
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
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
DITA components
Document type
definitions (DTDs)
Open Toolkit for
generating output
HTML, Eclipse help,
CHM, and others
through XSL
PDF through XSL-FO
Documentation
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>
What DITA is not
It's more like this...
Is DITA better than XML?
Which is better?
DITA 101 -- Why the Buzz
DITA 101 -- Why the Buzz
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
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
DITA weaknesses
Generic content model
Output through
Open Toolkit is rudimentary
Specialization can be challenging
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>
<?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>
Key DITA concepts
Topics
Map files
Content references (conrefs)
Specialization
Topics
Requires writing modular content
Think about consistency and making pieces
reusable
A writing challenge rather than a technology
challenge
Map files
Let you organize topics sequentially and
hierarchically
Basis for creating books, help, deliverables
<?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>
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
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.
The structure you need versus the
structure you have...
Customization
Subsetting
Specialization
Customization
Subsetting
Specialization
Business case for XML
Content exchange
Database publishing
Reuse content/reduce duplication
Automated formatting/publishing
Compliance
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
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?
Make content truly portable
Do you need to send
content to a customer,
partner, vendor, other
department?
Will they standardize
on DITA?
Support content reuse
Map files for topic reuse
conrefs for smaller reuse
Software support
DITA support found in many (most?) XML
authoring tools
Some tools support only DITA and not general
XML
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
Is DITA right for you?
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.
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.
Maybe
DITA is not an exact match.
Customization/specialization would be
required.
Contact information
Sarah O'Keefe
Scriptorium Publishing
www.scriptorium.com
okeefe@scriptorium.com
+1 919 481-2701 x102
Questions
Thanks!
Thank you to Madcap Software for organizing.
Thank you to participants for attending.
1 of 45

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DITA 101 -- Why the Buzz

  • 1. DITA 101: Why the Buzz? Sarah O'Keefe Scriptorium Publishing
  • 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. 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. 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. Overview What is DITA? Key DITA concepts Typical scenarios for DITA Is DITA right for you?
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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>
  • 12. It's more like this...
  • 13. Is DITA better than XML?
  • 17. 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
  • 18. 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
  • 19. DITA weaknesses Generic content model Output through Open Toolkit is rudimentary Specialization can be challenging
  • 20. 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>
  • 21. <?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>
  • 22. Key DITA concepts Topics Map files Content references (conrefs) Specialization
  • 23. Topics Requires writing modular content Think about consistency and making pieces reusable A writing challenge rather than a technology challenge
  • 24. Map files Let you organize topics sequentially and hierarchically Basis for creating books, help, deliverables
  • 25. <?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>
  • 26. 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
  • 27. 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.
  • 28. The structure you need versus the structure you have... Customization Subsetting Specialization
  • 32. Business case for XML Content exchange Database publishing Reuse content/reduce duplication Automated formatting/publishing Compliance
  • 33. 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
  • 34. 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?
  • 35. Make content truly portable Do you need to send content to a customer, partner, vendor, other department? Will they standardize on DITA?
  • 36. Support content reuse Map files for topic reuse conrefs for smaller reuse
  • 37. Software support DITA support found in many (most?) XML authoring tools Some tools support only DITA and not general XML
  • 38. 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
  • 39. Is DITA right for you?
  • 40. 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.
  • 41. 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.
  • 42. Maybe DITA is not an exact match. Customization/specialization would be required.
  • 43. Contact information Sarah O'Keefe Scriptorium Publishing www.scriptorium.com okeefe@scriptorium.com +1 919 481-2701 x102
  • 45. Thanks! Thank you to Madcap Software for organizing. Thank you to participants for attending.