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DITA for Beginners. Outline. Why DITA? Modularity Information Typing Semantic Tagging Open Source Reuse What is DITA?. Why DITA. Modularity Information Typing Semantic Tagging Open Source Reuse. Modularity. Storing information in small self-contained modules/information structures

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Presentation Transcript
outline
Outline
  • Why DITA?
  • Modularity
  • Information Typing
  • Semantic Tagging
  • Open Source
  • Reuse
  • What is DITA?
why dita
Why DITA
  • Modularity
  • Information Typing
  • Semantic Tagging
  • Open Source
  • Reuse
modularity
Modularity
  • Storing information in small self-contained modules/information structures
  • Earliest known methodology – STOP
    • Sequential Thematic Organization of Publications
    • topical units of discourse
  • Internet and Help systems are modular
  • Write and maintain a piece of information once
  • Makes information development efficient
modularity1
Modularity
  • Not accepted in print-based documentation
  • “Document” is primary unit of information
  • DITA simplifies modularity for all delivery methods – Web, Help, and Print
  • Two main information structures:
    • Topics
    • Maps
information typing
Information Typing
  • Segmenting information based on its nature (and purpose)
  • People read manuals to satisfy specific needs:
    • How to
    • How it works
    • Facts
information typing1
Information Typing
  • DITA defines 3 information types:
    • Task
    • Concept
    • Reference
  • DITA allows for the “evolution” of new information types
  • Enforcement of writing rules done through XML validation
semantic mark up
Semantic Mark-up
  • Marking up text based on what sort of text it is NOT how it should look
  • Allows the separation of content and form
  • Key to achieving true single-sourcing
  • Challenges for technical communicators - changing focus from form to content.
open source
Open Source
  • DITA is a standard, not a product
  • Managed through a not-for-profit standard body called OASIS
  • To adopt DITA, users need authoring tool that supports the DITA standard
  • Dozens of authoring tools available
  • DITA is free, commercial DITA authoring tools are not
reuse
Reuse
  • WOOO – Write Once and Once Only
  • DITA has plenty of mechanisms for content re-use
  • Any type of DITA content fragment can be re- used:
    • Paragraphs
    • Terms
    • Index Terms
    • Anything!
what is dita
What is DITA
  • Darwin Information Typing Architecture
  • Methodology and an Open Standard
  • Separates content and form
  • Allows for technical writing best practices
    • Modularity
    • Single-sourcing
    • Content re-use