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Introduction to DITA

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Introduction to DITA

  1. 1. DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) AN INTRODUCTION TO
  2. 2. CONTENTS  DITA defined  Some facts  Why DITA?  Content re-use  Comprehensive filtering  Inheritance  Separates content from formatting  Multiple outputs  XML vs HTML  Typical DITA workflow  DITA Tools  Why DITA matters to tech writers,
  3. 3. DITA DEFINED  Darwin: DITA utilizes principles of inheritance for specialization.  Information Typing: DITA was originally designed for technical information based on an information architecture of Concept, Task and Reference.  Architecture: DITA is a model for extension of both design and processes.
  4. 4. Some Facts  DITA is a standard, not a product.  Introduced by IBM in 2001.  Managed through a not-for-profit standard body: Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).  To adopt DITA, users need an authoring tool that supports the DITA standard.  DITA is free, commercial DITA authoring tools are not.  Widespread adoption in Cisco, IBM, Nokia, and Oracle.
  5. 5. Why DITA?  Content re-use  Comprehensive filtering  Inheritance  Multiple outputs  Separates content from formatting
  6. 6. Content re-use  Cost savings for translation  Cost savings for copy editing and proofreading  Reduction of duplicate effort  Increased consistency of content
  7. 7. > DITA mechanisms for content re-use  Topic-oriented design - Information is created in self-contained chunks that each describe a concept, task, or set of reference material that stands on its own.  Maps - Information topics are assembled into documentation using a map file to arrange the standalone topics into a hierarchy that makes sense for the system or product being documented. This gives you the flexibility of not worrying about what level of the TOC hierarchy a specific topic will appear; simply write the topic as standalone content, and the map will ensure that it appears in the correct location - with the correct formatting.  Conrefs and Keyrefs
  8. 8. Topic-orientated design Topic Concept Task Reference Provides quick access to facts. A unit of information which is meaningful when it stands alone. Provides background information that users need to know. Provides procedural details such as step-by- step instructions. Provides quick access to facts.
  9. 9. > DITA Maps DITA maps offer powerful control over the publishing process, enabling you to define the sequence and hierarchy of collections of topics at the point of content delivery.
  10. 10. Comprehensive Filtering Support  DITA provides a convenient method for using filtered content.  Refers to content that applies in some situations or for some readers, but not others.  Filter based on a variety of criteria, including product line, audience type, region, or any other type of metadata you can embed in the document.
  11. 11. Inheritance - The Darwin Part  DITA defines a basic topic structure, and then specific types of topics are derived from this, including task, concept, and reference.  Inheritance saves time.
  12. 12. DITA separates content from formatting  The formatting of the content is in a separate file from the content.  Allows the writer to focus first on the writing perspective.  Since the formatting lies in separate files, the output will be consistent, even when there are multiple writers.
  13. 13. Multiple outputs  Single-source approach to publishing  DITA supports multiple output formats  Printed manuals  Online help  CHM  Web pages : HTML/CSS, WordPress  Mobile app content
  14. 14. XML VS HTML  HTML defines how content is formatted in a web browser; XML defines what the content is.  HTML provides a set of predefined tags; XML provides a syntax that allows users to define their own tags.
  15. 15. Typical DITA Workflow 1. Identify the task topics. 2. Identify the concept and reference topics needed to support the task topics. 3. Create the topics. 4. Use DITA maps to assemble topics for each documentation deliverable. 5. Publish and deliver the content.
  16. 16. DITA Tools  Authoring Tools  Arbortext Editor  Oxygen XML  XMetal  DITA Storm (browser-based DITA editor)  Adobe FrameMaker 8 upwards ► Production Tools  DITA Open Toolkit (open source) ► Modeling Tools  IBM Task Modeler for creating DITA Maps
  17. 17. Why DITA matters to tech writers? The production of technical documents such as user manuals is constantly evolving, as new technologies become available. Users are able to access information in many different forms, including websites, support forums, knowledge base systems, FAQs, and many more. DITA can help technical writers meet the challenges of producing technical documents in an increasingly complex global market.
  18. 18. Know more  DITA Open Toolkit: http://www.dita-ot.org/  Getting started Guide: http://www.technical-writer.org/technical-communication/tutorial- dita-xml-compile-pdf-dita-open-toolkit-windows/  DITA Starter KIT: http://techwhirl.com/dita-starter-kit-everything-need-jump-dita/  http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/524/what-is-dita-and-why-should-you-care  http://www.terraxml.com/community/blog/bid/345258/Advantages-of-DITA-for- Information-Developers  http://dita.xml.org/benefits-using-dita  http://www.oxygenxml.com/dita/styleguide/webhelp- feedback/Artefact/Authoring_Concepts/c_Introduction_to_DITA.html