DITA introduction


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Introduction to DITA

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DITA introduction

  1. 1. Introduction to <br />-Raghunath Soman<br />(with valuable inputs from Taher Oliya)<br />
  2. 2. What is DITA?<br />DITA stands for Darwin Information Type Architecture<br />XML-based, open-source documentation framework<br />Originally created by IBM, currently managed by OASIS committee<br />Latest specification version is 1.2<br />
  3. 3. Why DITA?<br />Enforces structured authoring<br />Facilitates content re-use<br />Supports single-sourcing<br />Reduces translation costs<br />Allows extension in form of specializations<br />Effective for collaborative documentation projects<br />Enables conditional processing based on target audience<br />Generates output in all major formats: PDF, CHM, WebHelp, RTF, JavaHelp<br />
  4. 4. DITA Tools<br />Any XML editor such as Oxygen XML Editor in combination with DITA OpenToolkit<br />Arbortext Editor<br />Adobe FrameMaker 8<br />XMetal Author<br />Xopus Online Editor<br />
  5. 5. DITA Concepts<br />Schema: base document that outlines the structure of XML<br />Topics: generic document type<br />Concepts: subjective information such as definitions, explanation, guidelines<br />References: factual details, such as API description, command syntax<br />Tasks: describes how to perform a specific procedure<br />DITA Maps: logical organization of concepts, tasks and references<br />Bookmaps: special kind of DITA map that defines the major structures for producing documentation as a book.<br />Relationship Tables<br />DITA elements and their attributes<br />As of now, there are approximately 300 elements (tags) in DITA.<br />Each element has a number of attributes specific to that element.<br />
  6. 6. DITA Specializations<br />Specialization feature of DITA allows extension of the core framework by adding industry-specific topic types, elements and attributes.<br />Specialization is broadly categorized into two types:<br />Topic specialization: creating new topic types<br />Domain specialization: creating new elements and attributes<br />Examples of topic specialization are:<br />Message specialization<br />Bookmap specialization<br />Examples of domain specialization are:<br />Training specialization<br />Semiconductor industry specialization<br />
  7. 7. Rules & Benefits of Specialization<br />Basic Rules:<br />The new information type and element must map to an existing one.<br />The new information type must be more restrictive than the existing one in the content that they allow.<br />For each new information type or topic specialization, a new DTD or a schema must be created.<br />Major Benefits:<br />Avoid re-inventing the wheel by re-using the base vocabulary<br />Enables customized output with more specific search, filtering, and reuse<br />Maintain consistency across multi-author teams <br />Enforces explicit support of product architectural requirements<br />
  8. 8. DITA Best Practices<br />NOTE: These guidelines are only suggestions for best approach, and can/should be modified as per project-specific style guides.<br />Analyze the content and break it into concepts, tasks and references.<br />Avoid spaces in file names and folder names. Maintain a consistent naming convention across all file names.<br />Nesting of multiple topics within a single file is discouraged.<br />All root nodes should contain both a <title> and a <shortdesc> node immediately after it. Short description should be about 50 words long. Use complete sentences, and not sentence fragments. Do not merely re-state the topic title in different words. <br />Use appropriate elements and attributes that best suit the content semantic. For example, use <ul>, <ol> and <dl> to enumerate bullets, numbers or definitions respectively.<br />
  9. 9. DITA Resources<br />DITA Wiki Knowledge Base<br />DITA Specification v1.2<br />DITA News<br />DITA World<br />DITA Open Toolkit User Guide<br />
  10. 10. Happy Learning in DITA…<br />Thank You!<br />