There is often a lot of confusion around what DITA really is. Is it a technology? A format? A product? A process? All or any of these things? We’ve written DITA 101 to answer these questions and more.
More and more companies are either adopting DITA or thinking about adopting it, yet surprisingly, there are very few resources written in plain English for those who want to learn about it. Many of the existing resources are very technical in nature. No matter how simple an article or book started out they always ended up talking about DITA in the context of XML code. Like any XML standard there is structure in DITA, but authoring tools can now illustrate structure in an intuitive manner.
We’ve designed DITA 101 for writers and managers. We’ve taken our years of experience helping organizations to move to DITA and distilled it into an easy-to-read and understandable format. And since the move to DITA often goes hand-in-hand with an organization’s adoption of content management, we’ve made sure that our expertise in developing effective content, reuse and content management, and their appropriate strategies are integrated throughout to give you everything you need to know to understand DITA.
DITA 101 is written for authors who need to understand the concepts but don’t need to know how to set up DITA nor how to modify the code. This book is about understanding structure, structured writing and reuse all in the context of DITA. In addition, we’ve also written DITA 101 for managers to help them understand the basics of DITA, the changes in roles, and the things to think about when planning a DITA project.
DITA 101 includes the following sections:
- What is DITA provides a definition of DITA and explains its key features.
- The value of structure in content explains how to analyze content for structure and uses recipes to illustrate the concepts of structure and structured writing.
- Reuse: Today’s best practice presents the benefits of reuse and provides an understanding of all the types of reuse that DITA supports.
- Topics and maps takes you through the building blocks of DITA.
- A day in the life of a DITA author helps to illustrate how an author would develop a content outline, create topics and write structured content.
- Planning for DITA provides insights into how to most effectively plan for DITA and the changes in roles and responsibilities.
- Metadata introduces the concepts of metadata, an often overlooked and misunderstood topic, and gives insight into the metadata that DITA supports.
- DITA and technology introduces some of the key DITA features that authoring, content management and publishing systems should support.
- The advanced stuff contains our insight on such topics as domains, conrefs, selection attributes, relationship tables and specialization.
Examples are used throughout to illustrate the concepts.
DITA 101: Fundamentals of DITA for Authors and Managers is available from Lulu for $9.95 immediate download, and approximately $25 for a paperback version.
If you would like to see more before you buy you can download Reuse: Today’s best practice.