DITA Newsletter

DITA Newsletter 2.2
by bobdoyle
Posted at


Features in this issue (see the web version at www.ditanewsletter.com)

Adobe Technical Communications Suite 2

When I reviewed the first Adobe Technical Communications Suite in 2007, I wrote that I looked forward to RoboHelp (even Captivate) importing and exporting DITA topics some day.

With TCS2, Adobe has extended their integration of their "best of breed" structured content creation tools with one another, bundled Photoshop - and made their biggest step yet with full DITA 1.1 integration.

Technical Communications Suite 2 now integrates FrameMaker 9 (for technical authoring and DITA publishing), RoboHelp 8 (for help and knowledge base authoring), Captivate 4, my choice for eLearning authoring, and - perhaps the Adobe tool I use most to support those three - Photoshop CS4, now bundled in to provide tech writers terrific cost savings on all the tools they need.

What does "integration" really mean? You can include Help in FrameMaker projects, eLearning in RoboHelp and in Frame, animations in Help and Frame and in PDF documents, RoboHelp screen captures from Frame, etc, etc. All the tools include direct access to aspects of the others from within the tool. You do not have to leave one tool to "Edit with…" another tool. And no longer are conversions needed to reuse assets.

If you reuse some Frame content in a RoboHelp project, and then update the Frame document, it automatically updates in your RoboHelp. This is meaningful single-sourcing without XML includes or DITA conrefs.

It's like one big toolset for technical communicators and for instructional designers.

To add to the total integration, you can use Adobe Bridge to organize and locate assets. And if you are using a component content management system, FrameMaker 9 now offers connectors to let you search and access content in your enterprise CMS.

And what does DITA XML integration mean? It means file compatibility with standard DITA editors like the <oXygen/> XML Editor that many DITA Users members have chosen.

With new "point releases" of the three original components, Adobe has not only added features, they have reworked the user interfaces amazingly. FrameMaker 9 now obviously belongs to the same family of Adobe products as Photoshop. You will find palettes that look and feel like Photoshop, but with added control - in both tools.

With its new UI, FrameMaker 9 simplifies authoring, structuring, reviewing, and publishing complex long-form content. With support for industry standard DITA 1.1, that now means hierarchical books and topic-based content. Most important, FrameMaker 9 can combine your existing unstructured content and new structured and DITA content in a seamless workflow.

RoboHelp 8 supports Lists and Tables, a new and intuitive CSS editor, powerful Pages and Templates, and a new search functionality making it easier for endusers to find relevant content.

TCS2 offers publishing through multiple channels, including XML/HTML, print, PDF, WSF, WebHelp, FlashHelp, Microsoft HTML Help, OracleHelp, JavaHelp and Adobe AIR.

TCS2 also includes Acrobat 9 Pro Extended and Presenter 7. Presenter is a secret weapon for teams that have MS Powerpoint assets that could become training materials. You just open your Powerpoint in Presenter and add narration, animation, interactivity, and software simulations, without starting fresh with Captivate!

Adobe now supports comments in PDF documents, so you can distribute them and reviewers can embed their critical feedback, without owning the TCS tools themselves. Your PDF "proofs" become an inexpensive but powerful review workflow system. Once your PDFs are out for review and approval, you can initiate an Adobe Connect session from the documnents to move the approval process forward. ConnectNow offers free web collaboration sessions for three users. Click here to try a 3-person Connect session right now!.

The estimated street price for TCS2 is US $1899. FrameMaker 9 (US$999), RoboHelp 8 (US$999), and Captivate 4 (US$799) will be available as standalone products as well.


Adobe eLearning Suite

Just announcing a new Tech Comm Suite might have been enough for Adobe, but just as the DITA architects are integrating learning and training into DITA 1.2, Adobe is making a powerful move into eLearning with the announcement of a new tool suite aimed directly at learning and training.

Adobe Captivate already had a great presence on the desktops of eLearning developers. Captivate has great testing capabilities, with randomized questions and answers, as well as question reuse from a question pool. The range of question types is as broad as any tool: true/false, multiple choice, multiple response, matching, sequence, drag/drop, hotspot, fill in a blank, short answer, and likert (ratings). It has separate feedback and actions for multiple incorrect answers. When you record in Captivate, it simultaneously creates a demonstration, a software simulation, and an assessment file. Each of these can then be edited and published separately, a terrific time saver. It exports files as industry-standard XLIFF, for easy localization.

Now Adobe has wrapped Captivate in an Adobe eLearning Suite. Once again, integration means easy switching from one tool to another as your work requires.

For authoring, eLS includes Captivate 4, Presenter 7 (to quickly enhance Powerpoint presentations), Dreamweaver CS4, and Photoshop CS4). For post-production,

So integration means things like Photoshop layers that are preserved in Captivate, allowing you to animate the layers separately.

And the new point release of Captivate means powerful new features like single SWF file publishing, text-to-speech conversion, a drawing toolbar for simple graphics, enhanced project templates, and round-trip PowerPoint workflows, which let users import and edit PowerPoint slides with audio and interactivity.

The new point release of Dreamweaver includes the Dreamweaver CS4 CourseBuilder extension. Course designers can use Dreamweaver CS4 to directly create HTML-based eLearning modules, complete with assessments, by utilizing standard question types. Using a new Shared Courseware Object Reference (SCORM) packager, designers can also combine Captivate 4, Flash CS4, Dreamweaver CS4 and Presenter content into a single course.

Once the initial content is authored, Adobe has added tools to combine and polish the material, like Adobe Bridge CS4 to collect the assets together, Adobe Photoshop CS4, for images, Adobe Flash CS4 for animation editing, and Adobe Soundbooth to enhance the final audio.

And when you are ready to publish,the eLS includes Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro and Adobe Device Central to design, preview, and test your eLearning content for viewing on more than 600 mobile device screens.

Adobe Captivate Reviewer is a special Adobe AIR application that lets learning professionals capture reviewers’ feedback regardless of their operating system and insert comments directly into an Adobe Captivate SWF file.

If you aren't equipped with a Learning Management System to accept the SCORM-compliant output from eLS, you still have many low-cost distribution options including SWF, HTML, PDF, and AVI. You can also consider Adobe Connect Pro (sold separately).

The estimated street price for the eLS is US $1799. Adobe Captivate 4 as a standalone product will cost US$799.


Eight Slides Explain DITA Topics, Maps, Specialization

Download a zipped folder with eight explanatory slides that you can use to educate your tech pubs group about DITA.

Feel free to use these in your own presentations on DITA. They combine ideas from some of the best slides in use over the past few years by DITA evangelists.

Or listen to the 5-minute Flash tutorial that uses animated versions of these slides to describe the core functionality of DITA.

 


Your D.Q. Helps Make the Business Case for DITA

The DITA Quotient estimates the value of DITA for your organization.

Simply answer ten yes/no questions about content management, structure, reuse, single-sourcing, localization, markup, conditional processing, modularity, task-orientation, minimalism, and standards.

You get a printable profile of your D.Q., which you can use as a checklist of questions about your structured content strategy and to compare yourself to industry averages.

DITA Consultants are using the D.Q., along with an estimate of the DITA Maturity Model level, to analyze a client's business case for DITA.

Get your DITA Quotient now (fill out an anonymous online form - no registration required).


DITA Tools from A to Z

DITA News has now posted the full copy of the STC Intercom special DITA issue cover story, with its extensive feature tables.

Here is the introduction to the story:

DITA's promise of topic-based structured authoring is not merely better documentation. lt is the creation of mission-critical information for your organization, written with a deep understanding of your most important audiences, that can be repurposed to multiple delivery channels and localized for multilingual global markets.

Download your copy here.

 

 


DITA Tools Survey

The first Annual Survey of DITA Tools was recently distributed to six DITA communities.

  • the main community mailing list dita-users@yahoo.com (1900 subscribers),
  • the official OASIS community at DITA.XML.org (1300 members),
  • the DITA News/DITA Users community (900/750 members),
  • the STC (13,000 members),
  • the TECHWR-L mailing list (2500 subscribers),
  • the Content Wrangler Community (a social network with 1600 members)

The survey asks for a profile of the user, and then collects usage statistics and critical comments on more than three dozen DITA-related tools.

Complete the DITA Tools Survey here.


DITA Users now offers three membership packages

Since April 2007, the DITA Users international membership organization has provided basic online DITA editing and a personal workspace folder to hundreds of tech writers around the world getting started with DITA.

DITA Users is NOT a social network (although you can locate other members easily with our private members directory)), it is a productivity tool. It is also not a production environment, it is a learning tool.

DITA Users has now reached 750 members in 36 countries and we are changing our membership options (How To Join.

We have eliminated the free membership program, because it is costly to maintain permanent workspace directories for so many people. We will still offer free access to the DITA Storm Editor in our demo sandbox folder. So new DITA Users can still try out our training tools. Our 5-minute Flash tutorial will remain free, as will access to our DITA Tools from A to Z Survey.

We hope that many of our current free members will join to keep their workspace folders and help support our many resource websites for DITA.

A $150 membership includes the leading book on DITA and a desktop DITA Editor to complement the web-based DITA Storm editor.

A full $100 membership includes the choice of the leading book on DITA or a desktop DITA Editor to complement the web-based DITA Storm editor.

The book (a $50 value) is JoAnn Hackos' Introduction to DITA - either the original edition by Kylene Bruski and Jennifer Linton or the new Arbortext Edition.

The desktop editor is the $48 Academic Edition of the <oXygen/> XML Editor, now at version 9 with full DITA support.

Desktop editors communicate with web servers via FTP or WebDAV (distributed authoring and versioning). DITA Users can now WebDAV-enable individual members' workspace folders.

Most DITA authoring tools offer WebDAV, some as a premium only available in their Enterprise Editions (for example, Syntext Serna and XMLmind).

DITA Users still offers a basic $50 membership without the book or desktop editor. Benefits include a WebDAV-enabled folder and discounts on major DITA conferences.

Paid memberships are renewable for $50/year. Free memberships include just one IBM DITA docset.

Anyone with a WebDAV-enabled DITA authoring tool can use it on their DITA Users document sets. These include two docsets from IBM and the docset from Comtech Services in the Introduction to DITA book. They can also create their own projects.

Practically speaking, anyone already invested in an advanced DITA authoring tool may be beyond the need for the "DITA from A to B" learning offered by DITA Users. But the new access method may make online training valuable for small tech pub groups who can now use their familiar tools (like Arbortext Editor or XMetaL Author) on the DITA Users website, as well as use innovative tools like the web-based DITA Storm, while their teams get started with DITA.

In any case, DITA Users member fees underwrite our network of DITA support websites, including this newsletter. So please consider joining today.


About DITA Newsletter

DITA Newsletter is published by DITA News, one of a network of websites in support of DITA. It is available online at www.ditanewsletter.com.

Each of our websites is optimized for some community-oriented function.

DITA Users - helping members get started with topic-based authoring using a web-based editor (DITA Storm), the Open Toolkit on the server, a personal workspace folder on the web with three starter DITA docsets, and a private member directory to locate other DITA Users.
ditausers.org

DITA Infocenter - the DITA architectural and language specifications, and the Open Toolkit User Guide, online in an Eclipse Help format.
ditainfocenter.com

DITA News - a blog aggregator, a mailing list, and this newsletter on DITA.
ditanews.com

DITA Blog - a group blog for DITA information developers (based on WordPress).
ditablog.com

DITA Wiki - over 600 pages of resources in a format that encourages comments and discussions (based on MediaWiki).
ditawiki.org

Please consider joining DITA Users today. Three membership packages are available, $150, $100, and $50

Your membership fee supports our network of websites, including this newsletter. Discounts on DITA conferences and workshops more than offset your annual membership fee

http://www.ditausers.org/membership/how_to_join/

# | skyLink | skyWriter | Comments (0)

DITA Newsletter 2.1
by bobdoyle
Posted at


Features in this issue (see the web version at www.ditanewsletter.com)

MadCap Does DITA

In a 2007 EContent column, I compared MadCap Flare to Adobe RoboHelp and suggested they were moving toward XML and perhaps even DITA.

Now MadCap Software has announced a beta program and road map that will integrate DITA XML into several MadCap products, including Flare, Blaze, Analyzer, Lingo, X-Edit, and the forthcoming Team Server. The suite of tools will allow creating, managing, translating, and publishing DITA content without third-party tools like the DITA Open Toolkit.

Mike Hamilton, MadCap VP of Product Management, says the new tools will work alongside any DITA tools your organization already has in place. You can import existing DITA topics or whole projects. You can analyze the content, for example locating phrases that are similar but not identical. Making phrases truly identical will enhance reuse and lower translation costs in Lingo, their integration of DITA authoring with translation memory.

For more details, see MadCap's DITA page.

This is a major move for MadCap, who has joined the OASIS Technical Committee and will help in the development of the DITA standard. The MadCap DITA initiative has three phases:

In the first phase , MadCap Software will add DITA support to four products:

  • MadCap Flare, the company’s flagship product for single-source, multi-channel publishing
  • MadCap Blaze, their topic-based publishing application for long-print documents
  • MadCap Analyzer for reporting, analyzing and proactively suggesting improvements to content
  • MadCap Lingo, their integrated authoring and translation memory system

With MadCap Flare and Blaze, authors will be able to import DITA projects and topics as raw XML content, and using the XML editor, change the style sheets to get the desired look and structure.

Authors will then have the option to publish the output as DITA content; print formats, such as Microsoft Word, DOCX and XPS or Adobe FrameMaker, PDF and AIR; and a range of HTML and XHTML online formats. MadCap’s software handles the DITA transforms, so authors don’t have to. MadCap Analyzer will work directly with DITA topics and projects to allow authors to analyze and report on the content. Similarly, MadCap Lingo will import data directly from DITA topics and projects, so that it can be translated. The translated material can be published as DITA content or exported to a Flare or Blaze project.

In the second phase, MadCap will enable authors to natively create and edit DITA topics in Flare and Blaze, as well as MadCap X-Edit, MadCap’s software family for creating short documents, contributing content to other documents, and reviewing content. Like Flare and Blaze, X-Edit will also support the ability to import and publish DITA information.

In the third phase, MadCap will add DITA support to its forthcoming MadCap Team Server. This will make it possible to manage and share DITA content across teams and projects, as well as schedule DITA publishing.

Here is a diagram showing possible workflows:


OASIS DITA Adoption Committee

The OASIS Adoption Committee has been formed.

The OASIS DITA Adoption Technical Committee was proposed by these members of OASIS:

JoAnn Hackos, Comtech JoAnn.Hackos@comtech-serv.com (Convenor/Chair)
Frank Miller, Comtech Frank.miller@comtech-serv.com
Michael Priestley, IBM mpriestl@ca.ibm.com
Debra Bissantz, LSI Logic debra.bissantz@lsi.com
Troy Klukewich, Oracle Troy.Klukewich@oracle.com
Bob Doyle, Associate bobdoyle@skybuilders.com
Gershon Joseph, Associate Gershon.joseph@tech-tav.com
Tony Self, Associate tself@hyperwrite.com
Kristen Eberlein, Individual keberlein@pobox.com
Rene Gedaly, Individual yourtechwriter@yahoo.com
Bryan Schnabel, Individual bryan.s.schnabel@tektronix.com
Chona Shumate, Individual Chona_Shumate@Cymer.com
Kay Whatley, Individual kay@brightpathsolutions.com

For more information, see the DITA Adoption TC Page


Eight Slides Explain DITA Topics, Maps, Specialization

Download a zipped folder with eight explanatory slides that you can use to educate your tech pubs group about DITA.

Feel free to use these in your own presentations on DITA. They combine ideas from some of the best slides in use over the past few years by DITA evangelists.

Or listen to the 5-minute Flash tutorial that uses animated versions of these slides to describe the core functionality of DITA.

 


Your D.Q. Helps Make the Business Case for DITA

The DITA Quotient estimates the value of DITA for your organization.

Simply answer ten yes/no questions about content management, structure, reuse, single-sourcing, localization, markup, conditional processing, modularity, task-orientation, minimalism, and standards.

You get a printable profile of your D.Q., which you can use as a checklist of questions about your structured content strategy and to compare yourself to industry averages.

DITA Consultants are using the D.Q., along with an estimate of the DITA Maturity Model level, to analyze a client's business case for DITA.

Get your DITA Quotient now (fill out an anonymous online form - no registration required).


DITA Tools from A to Z

DITA News has now posted the full copy of the STC Intercom special DITA issue cover story, with its extensive feature tables.

Here is the introduction to the story:

DITA's promise of topic-based structured authoring is not merely better documentation. lt is the creation of mission-critical information for your organization, written with a deep understanding of your most important audiences, that can be repurposed to multiple delivery channels and localized for multilingual global markets.

Download your copy here.

 

 


DITA Tools Survey

The first Annual Survey of DITA Tools was recently distributed to six DITA communities.

  • the main community mailing list dita-users@yahoo.com (1900 subscribers),
  • the official OASIS community at DITA.XML.org (1300 members),
  • the DITA News/DITA Users community (900/750 members),
  • the STC (13,000 members),
  • the TECHWR-L mailing list (2500 subscribers),
  • the Content Wrangler Community (a social network with 1600 members)

The survey asks for a profile of the user, and then collects usage statistics and critical comments on more than three dozen DITA-related tools.

Complete the DITA Tools Survey here.


DITA Users now offers three membership packages

Since April 2007, the DITA Users international membership organization has provided basic online DITA editing and a personal workspace folder to hundreds of tech writers around the world getting started with DITA.

DITA Users is NOT a social network (although you can locate other members easily with our private members directory)), it is a productivity tool. It is also not a production environment, it is a learning tool.

DITA Users has now reached 750 members in 36 countries and we are changing our membership options (How To Join.

We have eliminated the free membership program, because it is costly to maintain permanent workspace directories for so many people. We will still offer free access to the DITA Storm Editor in our demo sandbox folder. So new DITA Users can still try out our training tools. Our 5-minute Flash tutorial will remain free, as will access to our DITA Tools from A to Z Survey.

We hope that many of our current free members will join to keep their workspace folders and help support our many resource websites for DITA.

A $150 membership includes the leading book on DITA and a desktop DITA Editor to complement the web-based DITA Storm editor.

A full $100 membership includes the choice of the leading book on DITA or a desktop DITA Editor to complement the web-based DITA Storm editor.

The book (a $50 value) is JoAnn Hackos' Introduction to DITA - either the original edition by Kylene Bruski and Jennifer Linton or the new Arbortext Edition.

The desktop editor is the $48 Academic Edition of the <oXygen/> XML Editor, now at version 9 with full DITA support.

Desktop editors communicate with web servers via FTP or WebDAV (distributed authoring and versioning). DITA Users can now WebDAV-enable individual members' workspace folders.

Most DITA authoring tools offer WebDAV, some as a premium only available in their Enterprise Editions (for example, Syntext Serna and XMLmind).

DITA Users still offers a basic $50 membership without the book or desktop editor. Benefits include a WebDAV-enabled folder and discounts on major DITA conferences.

Paid memberships are renewable for $50/year. Free memberships include just one IBM DITA docset.

Anyone with a WebDAV-enabled DITA authoring tool can use it on their DITA Users document sets. These include two docsets from IBM and the docset from Comtech Services in the Introduction to DITA book. They can also create their own projects.

Practically speaking, anyone already invested in an advanced DITA authoring tool may be beyond the need for the "DITA from A to B" learning offered by DITA Users. But the new access method may make online training valuable for small tech pub groups who can now use their familiar tools (like Arbortext Editor or XMetaL Author) on the DITA Users website, as well as use innovative tools like the web-based DITA Storm, while their teams get started with DITA.

In any case, DITA Users member fees underwrite our network of DITA support websites, including this newsletter. So please consider joining today.


About DITA Newsletter

DITA Newsletter is published by DITA News, one of a network of websites in support of DITA. It is available online at www.ditanewsletter.com.

Each of our websites is optimized for some community-oriented function.

DITA Users - helping members get started with topic-based authoring using a web-based editor (DITA Storm), the Open Toolkit on the server, a personal workspace folder on the web with three starter DITA docsets, and a private member directory to locate other DITA Users.
ditausers.org

DITA Infocenter - the DITA architectural and language specifications, and the Open Toolkit User Guide, online in an Eclipse Help format.
ditainfocenter.com

DITA News - a blog aggregator, a mailing list, and this newsletter on DITA.
ditanews.com

DITA Blog - a group blog for DITA information developers (based on WordPress).
ditablog.com

DITA Wiki - over 600 pages of resources in a format that encourages comments and discussions (based on MediaWiki).
ditawiki.org

Please consider joining DITA Users today. Three membership packages are available, $150, $100, and $50

Your membership fee supports our network of websites, including this newsletter. Discounts on DITA conferences and workshops more than offset your annual membership fee

http://www.ditausers.org/membership/how_to_join/

# | skyLink | skyWriter | Comments (0)

DITA Newsletter 1.12
by bobdoyle
Posted at


Features in this issue (see the web version at www.ditanewsletter.com)

DocZone Announces Lower-Cost SaaS based on Alfresco CMS

DocZone.com announced the forthcoming release of DocZone Lite™, a new Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for creating, managing and publishing content.

The new DocZone Lite is modeled as a complete end-to-end solution, bundled with many of the key features of the original DocZone suite, including browser-based XML authoring, workflow, and single-source publishing to PDF (using the embedded TopLeaf composition engine) and HTML help. The major difference with DocZone Lite is the open source Alfresco CMS platform at its core. This allows the primary DocZone features to be offered to users for a much lower cost. DocZone Lite is bundled with an XML schema, preconfigured workflows, and basic stylesheets for single source publishing, so that it is ready to use “out of the box” with little to no additional setup required.

The base price of DocZone Lite is USD$195/month. The product will become generally available in July 2008.


The Lone-DITA Tutorial is now online at DITA Users

The Lone-DITA.com website is down temporarily as Louise Kasemeier prepares to move her site to the servers at DITA Users. In the meantime, her popular tutorial PDF with supporting files in a zipped folder can now be downloaded from DITA Users.

Getting Started with DITA Tutorial from Lone-DITA (PDF).

Supporting files for DITA Tutorial from Lone-DITA (Zip file).


Suite Solutions to Lead FO Development

Suite Solutions has accepted the leadership role in supporting PDF publishing functionality provided by the DITA Open Toolkit (DITA-OT). The FO plug-in, initially developed and supported by Idiom Technologies, currently facilitates PDF generation of DITA XML documents using the XSL-FO formatting standard.

Suite Solutions will work closely with Robert Anderson of IBM, Chief Architect of the DITA Open Toolkit, and other members of the DITA development community. .

"We believe that robust and stable PDF generation from the DITA-OT is a key enabler to the continued success and growing adoption of DITA, and ultimately makes the standard more accessible to a broader range of technical documentation publishers," said Joe Gelb, Founder and President of Suite Solutions. "Therefore it is critical that native XSL-FO capability receive ongoing and professional support to service the needs of the growing community of DITA users."


OASIS DITA Adoption Committee

A new OASIS technical committee is being formed.

Call For Participation

The OASIS DITA Adoption Technical Committee has been proposed by these members of OASIS:

JoAnn Hackos, Comtech JoAnn.Hackos@comtech-serv.com (Convenor/Chair)
Frank Miller, Comtech Frank.miller@comtech-serv.com
Michael Priestley, IBM mpriestl@ca.ibm.com
Debra Bissantz, LSI Logic debra.bissantz@lsi.com
Troy Klukewich, Oracle Troy.Klukewich@oracle.com
Bob Doyle, Associate bobdoyle@skybuilders.com
Gershon Joseph, Associate Gershon.joseph@tech-tav.com
Tony Self, Associate tself@hyperwrite.com
Kristen Eberlein, Individual keberlein@pobox.com
Rene Gedaly, Individual yourtechwriter@yahoo.com
Bryan Schnabel, Individual bryan.s.schnabel@tektronix.com
Chona Shumate, Individual Chona_Shumate@Cymer.com
Kay Whatley, Individual kay@brightpathsolutions.com

The eligibility requirements for becoming a participant in the Adoption Committee at the first meeting are that:
(a) you must be an employee of an OASIS member organization or an individual member of OASIS;
(b) the OASIS member must sign the OASIS membership agreement;
(c) you must notify the chair (JoAnn Hackos) of your intent to participate at least 15 days prior to the first meeting, which OASIS members may do here - Join the DITA Adoption Committee;
(d) you must attend the first meeting of the TC, scheduled for 28 July 2008.

More information will be posted to the DITA Adoption TC Page


DITA Open Platform 1.0

The DITA Open Platform is an open-source project to provide the DITA community with a free and easy-to-deploy DITA oriented production platform. It is targeted at small companies or teams that do not need a complete CMS solution.

The key deliverable of the 1.0 milestone is the DITA-OP Editor, an Eclipse-based set of plugins featuring:

  • The complete DITA architecture and language specification available through the Eclipse help system
  • A DITA project which enables DITA files validation (pure XML validation and hyperlink references validation) and problem markers
  • Wizards and templates to create new DITA files (topics, concepts, references, tasks, maps, bookmaps and processing profiles)
  • A processing profile (ditaval) form editor
  • A topic editor which will leverage the power of the Eclipse XML editor (content assist, templates, as-you-type validation, formatting) with a dedicated preview page
  • A launch configuration dedicated to the DITA Open Toolkit which enables setting up the toolkit scripts, saving your configuration for later reuse or sharing and even adding automatic build to your DITA project.

Downloads are available here.


Eight Slides Explain DITA Topics, Maps, Specialization

Download a zipped folder with eight explanatory slides that you can use to educate your tech pubs group about DITA.

Feel free to use these in your own presentations on DITA. They combine ideas from some of the best slides in use over the past few years by DITA evangelists.

Or listen to the 5-minute Flash tutorial that uses animated versions of these slides to describe the core functionality of DITA.

 


Your D.Q. Helps Make the Business Case for DITA

The DITA Quotient estimates the value of DITA for your organization.

Simply answer ten yes/no questions about content management, structure, reuse, single-sourcing, localization, markup, conditional processing, modularity, task-orientation, minimalism, and standards.

You get a printable profile of your D.Q., which you can use as a checklist of questions about your structured content strategy and to compare yourself to industry averages.

DITA Consultants are using the D.Q., along with an estimate of the DITA Maturity Model level, to analyze a client's business case for DITA.

Get your DITA Quotient now (fill out an anonymous online form - no registration required).


DITA Tools from A to Z

DITA News has now posted the full copy of the STC Intercom special DITA issue cover story, with its extensive feature tables.

Here is the introduction to the story:

DITA's promise of topic-based structured authoring is not merely better documentation. lt is the creation of mission-critical information for your organization, written with a deep understanding of your most important audiences, that can be repurposed to multiple delivery channels and localized for multilingual global markets.

Download your copy here.

 

 


DITA Maturity Model Contest

The DITA Maturity Model defines the industry's first graduated, step-by-step methodology for implementing the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA).

The DITA Maturity Model Contest is looking for your contributions to the discussion on the DITA.XML.org knowlegebase and are offering an 8GB Apple iPod Touch and two tickets to DocTrain East as prizes

Just add a comment to one of the DMM Community pages between 1 June and 31 August 2008 and you have a chance to win.


DITA Tools Survey

The first Annual Survey of DITA Tools was recently distributed to six DITA communities.

  • the main community mailing list dita-users@yahoo.com (1900 subscribers),
  • the official OASIS community at DITA.XML.org (1300 members),
  • the DITA News/DITA Users community (600 members),
  • the STC (13,000 members),
  • the TECHWR-L mailing list (2500 subscribers),
  • the Content Wrangler Community (a social network with 1600 members)

The survey asks for a profile of the user, and then collects usage statistics and critical comments on more than three dozen DITA-related tools.

Complete the DITA Tools Survey here.


DITA Users now offers four membership packages

Since April 2007, the DITA Users international membership organization has provided basic online DITA editing and a personal workspace folder for free to hundreds of tech writers (now over 650) around the world getting started with DITA.

DITA Users is NOT a social network (although you can locate other members easily with our private members directory)), it is a productivity tool. It is also not a production environment, it is a learning tool.

A $150 membership includes the leading book on DITA and a desktop DITA Editor to complement the web-based DITA Storm editor.

A full $100 membership includes the choice of the leading book on DITA or a desktop DITA Editor to complement the web-based DITA Storm editor.

The book (a $50 value) is JoAnn Hackos' Introduction to DITA - either the original edition by Kylene Bruski and Jennifer Linton or the new Arbortext Edition.

The desktop editor is the $48 Academic Edition of the <oXygen/> XML Editor, now at version 9 with full DITA support.

Desktop editors communicate with web servers via FTP or WebDAV (distributed authoring and versioning). DITA Users can now WebDAV-enable individual members' workspace folders.

Most DITA authoring tools offer WebDAV, some as a premium only available in their Enterprise Editions (for example, Syntext Serna and XMLmind).

DITA Users still offers a basic $50 membership without the book or desktop editor. Benefits include a WebDAV-enabled folder and discounts on major DITA conferences.

Paid memberships are renewable for $50/year. Free memberships include just one IBM DITA docset.

Anyone with a WebDAV-enabled DITA authoring tool can use it on their DITA Users document sets. These include two docsets from IBM and the docset from Comtech Services in the Introduction to DITA book. They can also create their own projects.

Practically speaking, anyone already invested in an advanced DITA authoring tool may be beyond the need for the "DITA from A to B" learning offered by DITA Users. But the new access method may make online training valuable for small tech pub groups who can now use their familiar tools (like Arbortext Editor or XMetaL Author) on the DITA Users website, as well as use innovative tools like the web-based DITA Storm, while their teams get started with DITA.

In any case, DITA Users member fees underwrite our network of DITA support websites, including this newsletter. So please consider joining today.


About DITA Newsletter

DITA Newsletter is published by DITA News, one of a network of websites in support of DITA. It is available online at www.ditanewsletter.com.

Each of our websites is optimized for some community-oriented function.

DITA Users - helping members get started with topic-based authoring using a web-based editor (DITA Storm), the Open Toolkit on the server, a personal workspace folder on the web with three starter DITA docsets, and a private member directory to locate other DITA Users.
ditausers.org

DITA Infocenter - the DITA architectural and language specifications, and the Open Toolkit User Guide, online in an Eclipse Help format.
ditainfocenter.com

DITA News - a blog aggregator, a mailing list, and this newsletter on DITA.
ditanews.com

DITA Blog - a group blog for DITA information developers (based on WordPress).
ditablog.com

DITA Wiki - over 600 pages of resources in a format that encourages comments and discussions (based on MediaWiki).
ditawiki.org

Please consider joining DITA Users today. Four membership packages are available, $150, $100, $50, and free

Your membership fee supports our network of websites, including this newsletter. Discounts on DITA conferences and workshops more than offset your annual membership fee

http://www.ditausers.org/membership/how_to_join/

# | skyLink | skyWriter | Comments (0)

DITA Newsletter 1.11
by bobdoyle
Posted at


Features in this issue (see the web version at www.ditanewsletter.com)

DITA Conferences - Discounts and Free Tickets

DITA Users is holding a lottery for free tickets to major conferences featuring DITA in June, including:

These free tickets are worth from 384 British Pounds to $999 and are an exclusive benefit for paying members of DITA Users. See Why Join DITA Users.

All members need to enter the drawing is to send an email to editor@cmsreview.com saying you will attend the conference if you win a free ticket. We don't want these valuable prizes to go to someone who will not be able to use them.

So join DITA Users today and include your request to be in the drawing for one or more of these conferences in the comments section of your order. If you are already a member, send an email request to editor@cmsreview.com.

Don't forget that members of DITA Users get discounts to most major conferences that more than offset their annual membership dues. That includes the three conferences above.


SiberLogic introduces SiberSafe Styler

SiberLogic SiberSafe Styler leverages Microsoft Word's XML capabilities and familiar document formatting interface (just use Word's familiar formatting user interface to map Word styles onto XML elements).

Traditional transformation approaches -- such as XSLT scripts -- that ensure a specific look and feel to your published documentation are often difficult and costly to develop, and equally expensive to maintain. SiberSafe Styler can support both your proprietary DTD (schemas) and the standard ones, including DITA, Docbook, and S1000D.


Vasont adds MS Word-based editing

Vasont Systems integration of In-vision Research Xpress Author combines structured authoring with a content management system.

Vasont (like Quark and others mentioned in earlier Newsletters) announced a partnership with In.vision Research. They have completed the integration between the Vasont CMS and Xpress Author, allowing writers to edit XML content in MSWord and save it back to the Vasont CMS. This is great for users who are used to working in MSWord and are frightened of XML.

Microsoft Word users can now work in an XML environment utilizing the Vasont content management system and Xpress Author to update their technical documentation, training materials, knowledge bases and other documentation for publication. Writers simply work in Microsoft Word while accessing and updating the Vasont repository through a simple menu option.


OASIS DITA Adoption Committee

OASIS is forming a DITA Adoption Committee under the direction of JoAnn Hackos to promote DITA.

It will include the following activites:
  1. Oversee the DITA XML.org Focus Area
  2. Review and ensure accuracy of DITA references in commonly used resources such as Wikipedia
  3. Host educational, vendor-neutral webinars
  4. Organize vendor-neutral workshops and tracks at OASIS events and other conferences
  5. Produce OASIS-branded primers, white papers, position papers, slide presentations, datasheets, and other collateral
  6. Develop best practice guidelines
  7. Establish liaisons with other organizations who may assist in building awareness or and promoting DITA in a variety of user communities
  8. Assist in coordinating promotional efforts of members, leveraging activities wherever beneficial
  9. Assist in coordinating press and analyst relations such as briefings, releases, and announcements
  10. Encourage and coordinate volunteer efforts to translate the DITA specification and other committee documents into other languages
  11. Interface with other TCs to define how DITA can be best integrated with other standards to address specific scenarios
  12. Stage interoperability and/or proof-of-concept demonstrations at industry conferences
  13. Other projects aimed at increasing adoption as identified by Committee members

Your D.Q. Helps Make the Business Case for DITA)

The DITA Quotient estimates the value of DITA for your organization.

Simply answer ten yes/no questions about content management, structure, reuse, single-sourcing, localization, markup, conditional processing, modularity, task-orientation, minimalism, and standards.

You get a printable profile of your D.Q., which you can use as a checklist of questions about your structured content strategy and to compare yourself to industry averages. DITA Consultants are using the D.Q., along with an estimate of the DITA Maturity Model level, to analyze a client's business case for DITA.

Get your DITA Quotient now (fill out an anonymous online form - no registration required).


DITA Tools from A to Z

DITA News has now posted the full copy of the STC Intercom special DITA issue cover story, with its extensive feature tables.

Here is introduction to the story:

DITA's promise of topic-based structured authoring is not merely better documentation. lt is the creation of mission-critical information for your organization, written with a deep understanding of your most important audiences, that can be repurposed to multiple delivery channels and localized for multilingual global markets.

Download your copy here.


DITA Maturity Model Contest

The DITA Maturity Model defines the industry's first graduated, step-by-step methodology for implementing the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA).

The DITA Maturity Model Contest is looking for your contributions to the discussion on the DITA.XML.org knowlegebase and are offering an 8GB Apple iPod Touch and two tickets to DocTrain East as prizes

Just add a comment to one of the DMM Community pages between 1 June and 31 August 2008 and you have a chance to win.


DITA Tools Survey

The first Annual Survey of DITA Tools was recently distributed to six DITA communities.

  • the main community mailing list dita-users@yahoo.com (1900 subscribers),
  • the official OASIS community at DITA.XML.org (1300 members),
  • the DITA News/DITA Users community (600 members),
  • the STC (13,000 members),
  • the TECHWR-L mailing list (2500 subscribers),
  • the Content Wrangler Community (a social network with 1600 members)

The survey asks for a profile of the user, and then collects usage statistics and critical comments on more than three dozen DITA-related tools.

Complete the DITA Tools Survey here.


With our latest new member from Vietnam, DITA Users is now in 35 Countries with 625 members

Since April 2007, the DITA Users international membership organization has provided basic online DITA editing and a personal workspace folder for free to hundreds of tech writers around the world getting started with DITA.

DITA Users is NOT a social network (although you can locate other members easily), it is a productivity tool.

A full $100/year membership includes the choice of the leading book on DITA or a desktop DITA Editor to complement the web-based DITA Storm editor.

The book (a $50 value) is JoAnn Hackos' Introduction to DITA - either the original edition by Kylene Bruski and Jennifer Linton or the new Arbortext Edition.

The desktop editor is the $48 Academic Edition of the <oXygen/> XML Editor, now at version 9 with full DITA support.

Desktop editors communicate with web servers via FTP or WebDAV (distributed authoring and versioning). DITA Users can now WebDAV-enable individual members' workspace folders.

Most DITA authoring tools offer WebDAV, some as a premium only available in their Enterprise Editions (for example, Syntext Serna and XMLmind).

DITA Users still offers a $50 discount membership without the book or desktop editor. Benefits include a WebDAV-enabled folder and discounts on major DITA conferences.

Anyone with a WebDAV-enabled DITA authoring tool can use it on their DITA Users document sets. These include two docsets from IBM and the docset from Comtech Services in the Introduction to DITA book. They can also create their own projects.

Practically speaking, anyone already invested in an advanced DITA authoring tool may be beyond the need for the "DITA from A to B" learning offered by DITA Users. But the new access method may make online training valuable for small tech pub groups who can now use their familiar tools (like Arbortext Editor or XMetaL Author) on the DITA Users website, as well as use innovative tools like the web-based DITA Storm, while their teams get started with DITA.

In any case, DITA Users member fees underwrite our network of DITA support websites, including this newsletter. So please consider joining today.


Upcoming DITA Events



June 9-13, 2008

Adobe FrameMaker 8: DITA Publishing Boot Camp

Bright Path Solutions will offer a special DITA-oriented version of their FrameMaker training class.

More information


June 18-20, 2008

The Gilbane Conference - San Francisco

Content management is more important than ever. But even as organizations are working to get their hands around rapidly growing and increasingly diverse collections of content, new web technologies are providing opportunities to create, manage, share, and deliver richer content more easily, sometimes cheaper, and often quicker.

Topics to be covered in-depth include:

  • Web Content Management (WCM)
  • Enterprise Search, Text Analytics, Semantic Technologies
  • Collaboration, Enterprise Wikis & Blogs
  • "Enterprise 2.0" Technologies & Social Computing
  • Content Globalization & Localization
  • Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
  • Enterprise Rights Management (ERM)
  • Publishing Best Practices
  • XML Content Strategies

Join DITA Users and enter a drawing for a free ticket ($995 value) to the Gilbane Conference. If you are already a member, don't forget to ask for your DITA Users discount to this conference when you register.

Registration
June 22-24, 2008

X-Pubs - Component Content Management, DITA, S1000D

How can XML and component based content systems fundamentally change how our content consumers see and experience information?

Presentations on:

  • Web 2.0 / multimedia delivery
  • Task-based Information Architecture
  • Innovative training and eLearning delivery
  • Innovations in presentation and collaboration models
  • Getting the most out of user-driven content
  • Effective workflow design

Who should come?

X-Pubs 2008 is for Team Leaders, Technical Communicators, Product Managers, Learning Content professionals, and so on who are looking to improve the way content is reused and communicated inside and outside their organisation.

Join DITA Users and enter a drawing for a free ticket (380BP value) to X-Pubs 2008. If you are already a member, don't forget to ask for your DITA Users discount to this conference when you register.

Registration


About DITA Newsletter

DITA Newsletter is published by DITA News, one of a network of websites in support of DITA. It is available online at www.ditanewsletter.com.

Each of our websites is optimized for some community-oriented function.

DITA Users - helping members get started with topic-based authoring using a web-based editor (DITA Storm), the Open Toolkit on the server, a personal workspace folder on the web with three starter DITA docsets, and a private member directory to locate other DITA Users.
ditausers.org

DITA Infocenter - the DITA architectural and language specifications, and the Open Toolkit User Guide, in an Eclipse Help format.
ditainfocenter.com

DITA News - a blog aggregator, a mailing list, and this newsletter on DITA.
ditanews.com

DITA Blog - a group blog for DITA information developers (based on WordPress).
ditablog.com

DITA Wiki - over 600 pages of resources in a format that encourages comments and discussions (based on MediaWiki).
ditawiki.org

Please consider joining DITA Users today. Membership is $100USD/year and includes your choice of either: Introduction to DITA by JoAnn Hackos or an Academic License to the <oXygen/> XML Editor, with WebDAV access to your workspace folder on DITA Users.

Your membership fee supports our network of websites, including this newsletter. Discounts on DITA conferences and workshops more than offset your annual membership fee

http://www.ditausers.org/membership/how_to_join/

# | skyLink | skyWriter | Comments (0)

DITA Newsletter 1.10
by bobdoyle
Posted at


Features in this issue (see the web version at www.ditanewsletter.com)


DITA Version Compatibility

Following a suggestion by Kay Whatley, DITA News has begun to collect the current DITA version compatibility for all DITA-related tools.

DITA vendors have been contacted and a preliminary table reports which tools are DITA 1.0 compatible, which 1.1 (or both 1.0 and 1.1), etc.

The URL for the Version Compatibility Table is www.ditanews.com/tools/compatibility/

See the Tools A-Z section of DITA News for links to the tool vendors.


DITA Conferences - Discounts and Free Tickets

DITA Users will be holding a lottery for free tickets to major conferences featuring DITA this spring, including:

These free tickets are worth from $999 to $1299 and are an exclusive benefit for paying members of DITA Users. See Why Join DITA Users.

All members need to enter the drawing is to send an email to editor@cmsreview.com saying you will attend the conference if you win a free ticket. We don't want these valuable prizes to go to someone who will not be able to use them.

So join DITA Users today and include your request to be in the drawing for one or more of these conferences in the comments section of your order. If you are already a member, send an email request to editor@cmsreview.com.

Don't forget that members of DITA Users get discounts to most major conferences that more than offset their annual membership dues. That includes the three conferences above.


DITA Storm Desktop Editor

Inmedius will be showing DITA Storm Desktop at DocTrain West 2008. DITA Storm Desktop is a standalone XML editing solution to create and publish DITA documents in a self-contained environment on a single workstation. Installed locally on the end user’s computer, files are accessed, edited, saved and published from local or network drives, regardless of Internet connectivity. With DITA Storm's WYSIWYG editing capabilities, authors with little or no DITA or XML knowledge can create valid, structured content.


Webworks ePublisher Platform 9.3 integrates Open Toolkit

ePublisher 9.3 supports and builds on the standards-based architecture of the DITA Open Tool Kit. ePublisher 9.3 gives you the capability to add additional formatting features to your DITA content that aren't available using the OT. ePublisher is not dependent on any particular version of the OT, and it works with any DITA XML editor.

ePublisher 9.3’s ability to merge information authored in DITA-XML, Adobe FrameMaker, or MS-Word makes the transition to DITA-XML more cost-effective as a user can easily test and prototype DITA using a subset of their documentation while still developing quality output for customers.


DITA Open Toolkit 1.4.2

Robert Anderson reports that version 1.4.2 of the DITA Open Toolkit is now available from the DITA-OT project page at SourceForge: http://sourceforge.net/projects/dita-ot/

Based on community input, the 1.4.2 package is now available in three versions:

  • 1. The "Minimal" package contains only the core processing code.
  • 2. The "Standard" package contains the core processing code, plus demos, documentation, and samples.
  • 3. The "Full easy install" package contains the standard package plus external libraries useful for many toolkit processes (such as Xalan and ANT), as well as a batch file to setup a local build environment. In DITA-OT 1.4.1 this was known as the full version; in release 1.5 this package will complete the transition to the name "easy install".

A new section of the DITA.XML.org Knowledgebase will track news on the DITA Open Toolkit


What's Your D.Q.? (Make the Business Case for DITA)

Your DITA Quotient estimates the value of DITA for your organization.

Simply answer ten yes/no questions about content management, structure, reuse, single-sourcing, localization, markup, conditional processing, modularity, task-orientation, minimalism, and standards.

You get a printable profile of your D.Q., which you can use as a checklist of questions about your structured content strategy and to compare yourself to industry averages. DITA Consultants are using the D.Q., along with an estimate of the DITA Maturity Model level, to analyze a client's business case for DITA.

Get your DITA Quotient now (fill out an anonymous online form - no registration required).


DITA Tools Survey

The first Annual Survey of DITA Tools will be distributed to six DITA communities this week.

  • the main community mailing list dita-users@yahoo.com (1900 subscribers),
  • the official OASIS community at DITA.XML.org (1300 members),
  • the DITA News/DITA Users community (600 members),
  • the STC (13,000 members),
  • the TECHWR-L mailing list (2500 subscribers),
  • the Content Wrangler Community (a social network with 1600 members)

The survey will ask for a profile of the user, and then collect usage statistics and critical comments on more than three dozen DITA-related tools.


<oXygen/> 9.2 adds Author version

<oXygen/> now offers a simplified version of the tool suited for authoring.

There are people that are not developers or there are times when you are not interested in the development features of <oXygen/> and you want just to do XML editing. <oXygen/> Author removes the development features offering a more simple interface for XML editing.

A DITA maps manager allows viewing and editing DITA map files. It also acts as a project manager allowing you to easily open different topics/concepts for editing.

<oXygen/> Author is available also as a separate product, both as a standalone application and as an Eclipse plugin.

The DITA Open Toolkit was updated in the <oXygen/> XML editor DITA authoring framework to the latest version 1.4.1.


Quark Dynamic Publishing Solution

Quark announced at the recent AIIM/On Demand conference that they are "Revolutionizing Publishing. Again" with the introduction of their Dynamic Publishing Solution.

The DPS is an integration of authoring, managing, and publishing tools that will likely cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and put Quark in competition with companies that offer automated publishing solutions. Their focus will not be tech docs, but high fidelity design/layout where dynamic content is required.

The main components are their Quark Publishing System (QPS) and QuarkXPress Server, but the surprise move is the integration of your choice of XML editor, including In.vision Research Xpress Author for Microsoft Word. Quark will sell Xpress Author directly. They hope to convert some of the 300 million Word users into structured XML content creators.

Because Xpress Author (note the similar but not identical name to QuarkXPress) ships preconfigured with DITA and other XML standards, the DPS will provide high-fidelity print and multi-channel outputs from component DITA topics.

The Quark Dynamic Publishing Solution will accept content created in many tools, including their desktop publishing flagship QuarkXPress and QuarkCopyDesk, as well as competitors Adobe InDesign and Adobe InCopy, and basically any XML editor/author tool.

Quark will partner with Alfresco to integrate an open-source enterprise content management system in the DPS.


DITA Tools from A to Z

DITA News is now offering a limited version of the article "DITA Tools from A to Z" from the special DITA issue of STC Intercom Magazine.

Paying members of DITA Users and STC can get the full copy of the article, with its extensive feature tables.

Download your copy here.


Hidden Cost of DITA

In the same special DITA issue of STC Intercom, XML Strategist Sarah O'Keefe warns that DITA may not be the best solution for companies that already structure their content - if their content model cannot be easily transformed to match the DITA content model.

Download your copy here.


DITA Maturity Model Q&A

The DITA Maturity Model defines the industry's first graduated, step-by-step methodology for implementing the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA). Incremental adoption is one of DITA's most attractive features. Users can start quickly and easily with DITA using a subset of its capabilities, then add investment over time as their content strategy evolves and expands to cover more requirements and content areas.

The authors of the DITA Maturity Model -- Michael Priestley, lead DITA architect for IBM and co-editor of OASIS/DITA 1.0 and Amber Swope, principal consultant in Content Lifecycle Solutions at JustSystems - discuss the genesis of DITA, the stages and the impact of using the DITA Maturity Model, and the path to universal knowledge management.

Read the Q&A here.


With a new member from Italy, DITA Users is now in 34 Countries

Since April 2007, the DITA Users international membership organization has provided basic online DITA editing and a personal workspace folder for free to hundreds of tech writers around the world getting started with DITA.

DITA Users is NOT a social network (although you can locate other members easily), it is a productivity tool.

A full $100/year membership includes the choice of the leading book on DITA or a desktop DITA Editor to complement the web-based DITA Storm editor.

The book (a $50 value) is JoAnn Hackos' Introduction to DITA - either the original edition by Kylene Bruski and Jennifer Linton or the new Arbortext Edition.

The desktop editor is the $48 Academic Edition of the <oXygen/> XML Editor, now at version 9 with full DITA support.

Desktop editors communicate with web servers via FTP or WebDAV (distributed authoring and versioning). DITA Users can now WebDAV-enable individual members' workspace folders.

Most DITA authoring tools offer WebDAV, some as a premium only available in their Enterprise Editions (for example, Syntext Serna and XMLmind).

DITA Users still offers a $50 discount membership without the book or desktop editor. Benefits include a WebDAV-enabled folder and discounts on major DITA conferences.

Anyone with a WebDAV-enabled DITA authoring tool can use it on their DITA Users document sets. These include two docsets from IBM and the docset from Comtech Services in the Introduction to DITA book. They can also create their own projects.

Practically speaking, anyone already invested in an advanced DITA authoring tool may be beyond the need for the "DITA from A to B" learning offered by DITA Users. But the new access method may make online training valuable for small tech pub groups who can now use their familiar tools (like Arbortext Editor or XMetaL Author) on the DITA Users website, as well as use innovative tools like the web-based DITA Storm, while their teams get started with DITA.

In any case, DITA Users member fees underwrite our network of DITA support websites, including this newsletter. So please consider joining today.


Upcoming DITA Events


May 6-9, 2008

DocTrain West 2008

The theme of the 2nd Annual Documentation & Training West Conference is Web 2.0 and Its Impact on Communication. The event takes place May 6-9, 2008.

Join DITA Users and enter a drawing for a free ticket ($995 value) to DocTrain West 2008. If you are already a member, don't forget to ask for your DITA Users discount to this conference when you register.

See the program schedule

Registration


June 9-13, 2008

Adobe FrameMaker 8: DITA Publishing Boot Camp

Bright Path Solutions will offer a special DITA-oriented version of their FrameMaker training class.

More information


June 18-20, 2008

The Gilbane Conference - San Francisco

Content management is more important than ever. But even as organizations are working to get their hands around rapidly growing and increasingly diverse collections of content, new web technologies are providing opportunities to create, manage, share, and deliver richer content more easily, sometimes cheaper, and often quicker.

Topics to be covered in-depth include:

  • Web Content Management (WCM)
  • Enterprise Search, Text Analytics, Semantic Technologies
  • Collaboration, Enterprise Wikis & Blogs
  • "Enterprise 2.0" Technologies & Social Computing
  • Content Globalization & Localization
  • Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
  • Enterprise Rights Management (ERM)
  • Publishing Best Practices
  • XML Content Strategies

Join DITA Users and enter a drawing for a free ticket ($995 value) to the Gilbane Conference. If you are already a member, don't forget to ask for your DITA Users discount to this conference when you register.

Registration
June 22-24, 2008

X-Pubs - Component Content Management, DITA, S1000D

How can XML and component based content systems fundamentally change how our content consumers see and experience information?

Presentations on:

  • Web 2.0 / multimedia delivery
  • Task-based Information Architecture
  • Innovative training and eLearning delivery
  • Innovations in presentation and collaboration models
  • Getting the most out of user-driven content
  • Effective workflow design

Who should come?

X-Pubs 2008 is for Team Leaders, Technical Communicators, Product Managers, Learning Content professionals, and so on who are looking to improve the way content is reused and communicated inside and outside their organisation.

Join DITA Users and enter a drawing for a free ticket (380BP value) to X-Pubs 2008. If you are already a member, don't forget to ask for your DITA Users discount to this conference when you register.

Registration


About DITA Newsletter

DITA Newsletter is published by DITA News, one of a network of websites in support of DITA. It is available online at www.ditanewsletter.com.

Each of our websites is optimized for some community-oriented function.

DITA Users - helping members get started with topic-based authoring using a web-based editor (DITA Storm), the Open Toolkit on the server, a personal workspace folder on the web with three starter DITA docsets, and a private member directory to locate other DITA Users.
ditausers.org

DITA Infocenter - the DITA architectural and language specifications, and the Open Toolkit User Guide, in an Eclipse Help format.
ditainfocenter.com

DITA News - a blog aggregator, a mailing list, and this newsletter on DITA.
ditanews.com

DITA Blog - a group blog for DITA information developers (based on WordPress).
ditablog.com

DITA Wiki - over 600 pages of resources in a format that encourages comments and discussions (based on MediaWiki).
ditawiki.org

Please consider joining DITA Users today. Membership is $100USD/year and includes your choice of either: Introduction to DITA by JoAnn Hackos or an Academic License to the <oXygen/> XML Editor, with WebDAV access to your workspace folder on DITA Users.

Your membership fee supports our network of websites, including this newsletter. Discounts on DITA conferences and workshops more than offset your annual membership fee

http://www.ditausers.org/membership/how_to_join/

# | skyLink | skyWriter | Comments (0)

DITA Newsletter 1.9
by bobdoyle
Posted at


Features in this issue (see the web version at www.ditanewsletter.com)


DITA Activity Shows Strong Growth

One indicator of the spectacular growth in DITA adoption over the past few years is the activity on the dita-users@yahoo.com community mailing list:

Click on any link to see the messages from that month.

Message History

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2008 401 565 527                  
2007 313 251 472 399 320 276 307 411 269 335 319 363
2006 179 170 316 220 269 303 288 250 247 293 226 202
2005 65 8 59 76 118 148 73 69 110 104 189 203
2004           28 20 27 20 83 86 48

DITA Conferences - Discounts and Free Tickets

DITA Users will be holding a lottery for free tickets to major conferences featuring DITA this spring, including:

These free tickets are worth from $999 to $1299 and are an exclusive benefit for paying members of DITA Users. See Why Join DITA Users.

All members need to enter the drawing is to send an email saying you will attend the conference if you win a free ticket. We don't want this valuable prize to go to someone who will not be able to use it.

So join DITA Users today and include your request to be in the drawing for one or more of these conferences in the comments section of your order. If you are already a member, send an email request to editor@cmsreview.com.

Don't forget that members of DITA Users get discounts to most major conferences that more than offset their annual membership dues. That includes JoAnn Hackos CMS/DITA 2008 conference this month in Santa Clara, CA. See the events section below for details/.


Justsystems Dynamic Documents as Applications

Justsystems is promoting a new strategy for leveraging DITA in its “document as application” vision and dynamic documents. They will present at Content Management Strategies/DITA North America 2008 to be held April 7–9, 2008, at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, CA.

In “Applications and Documents Collide: The Emergence of Dynamic Documents,” (Monday, April 7, 4pm.) Amber Swope, principal consultant for JustSystems, will discuss the emergence of “dynamic documents” as the new application context that gives users an interactive, real-time, fully contextual view of their business. Through a series of rich real-world application examples, this presentation will provide a new lens for reconsidering what were once very isolated domains of applications and documents. It will also provide a framework for thinking about key business processes sitting at the intersection of content and data, business applications, and documents.


Leximation DITA-FMx 1.0 in Public Beta

FrameMaker users looking to get more out of FrameMaker 7.2 or even the latest FM8 should check out the long list of features that Leximation's DITA-FMx 1.0 adds to your existing tools.

DITA-FMx 1.0 includes a number of additional features over the standard functionality provided in FM8. For a comparison of these features, see the FrameMaker DITA Feature Comparison.

DITA-FMx 1.0 is available to download now, with installation instructions here.


Inmedius DITA Storm Developer 2.0

Inmedius announced a new DITA Storm Suite, with four distinct software solutions, each designed to meet specific organization requirements. If you need a simple, easy to use DITA editor, or require an editor within a full-featured management tool, the Suite offers a spectrum of solutions to fit your needs:

DITA Storm™ Developer is a full featured, embeddable XML editing solution that enables authors to quickly and easily create and edit DITA-compliant content in WYSIWYG mode -- regardless of DITA or XML expertise. As easy to use as a word or text processing application, authors are able to create and edit content in a familiar environment. The Web-based editor is entirely implemented in JavaScript™ and simply embeds into virtually any Web Application or Content Management System, ensuring the entire DITA documentation lifecycle is supported.

DITA Storm™ Desktop is a standalone DITA Editor with single source publishing.

DITA Storm™ Professional is a DITA Editor with a fully customizable library.

DITA Storm™ Enterprise is a DITA Editor with a content management system.

Inmedius offers a color brochure with an introduction and overview for the DITA Storm™ Suite

You can try the DITA Storm web-based DITA Editor by joining DITA Users and getting your own online workspace folder. Join Today!


Syntext Serna WYSIWYG XML Editor 3.6

Syntext Serna Release candidate V3.6 includes the following enhancements:

  • Enhanced DITA usability dialogs simplifying topic creation and work with references: xref, related link, topicref, and conref.
  • A number of DITA-related enhancements, including conref target navigation and PDF publishing of DITA documents with Antenna House XSL Formatter.
  • Paginated and Normal document views let you see the content of a document on multiple pages or as a single page.


Eliot Kimber to Keynote Open Publish 2008

Eliot Kimber, senior solutions architect at content solutions and services firm Really Strategies, Inc., will keynote Open Publish 2008 in Baltimore on April 23rd. Eliot will discuss sustainable XML for publishing applications using the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) standard. XML applications for publishers have struggled to realize the full potential inherent in the technology. While larger publishers could make the investment necessary to realize significant return on the use of XML technology, smaller enterprises simply could not. The DITA standard changes this equation and Eliot will illustrate how publishers of all sizes can capitalize on this standard to maximize content re-use and rapid product prototyping.

"The DITA standard should make all publishers really excited," stated Kimber. "The old SGML siren song of re-usability is now finally and truly a reality." Originally created for technical publishers, the DITA standard is now gaining traction in more traditional publishing environments thanks to new tools on the market.


One Year Old and nearly 550 DITA Users Members from 33 countries

Since April 2007, the DITA Users international membership organization has provided basic online DITA editing and a personal workspace folder for free to hundreds of tech writers around the world getting started with DITA.

A full $100/year membership includes the choice of the leading book on DITA or a desktop DITA Editor to complement the web-based DITA Storm editor.

The book (a $50 value) is JoAnn Hackos' Introduction to DITA - either the original edition by Kylene Bruski and Jennifer Linton or the new Arbortext Edition.

The desktop editor is the $48 Academic Edition of the <oXygen/> XML Editor, now at version 9 with full DITA support.

Desktop editors communicate with web servers via FTP or WebDAV (distributed authoring and versioning). DITA Users can now WebDAV enable individual members' workspace folders.

Most DITA authoring tools offer WebDAV, some as a premium only available in their Enterprise Editions (for example, Syntext Serna and XMLmind).

DITA Users still offers a $50 discount membership without the book or desktop editor. Benefits include a WebDAV enabled folder and discounts on major DITA conferences.

Anyone with a WebDAV-enabled DITA authoring tool can use it on their DITA Users document sets. These include two docsets from IBM and the docset from Comtech Services in the Introduction to DITA book. They can also create their own projects.

Practically speaking, anyone already invested in an advanced DITA authoring tool may be beyond the need for the "DITA from A to B" learning offered by DITA Users. But the new access method may make online training valuable for small tech pub groups who can now use their familiar tools (like Arbortext Editor or XMetaL Author) on the DITA Users website, as well as use innovative tools like the web-based DITA Storm, while their teams get started with DITA.

In any case, DITA Users member fees underwrite our network of DITA support websites, including this newsletter. So please consider joining today.


Upcoming DITA Events


April 7-9, 2008

Content Management Strategies/DITA North America 2008

Are you planning to roll out an enterprise-wide content management system? Reusing content to decrease the costs of Global Product Deployment? Moving your content to the Web and dynamic graphics? Moving your content to DITA? Outputting to multiple media from a Single Source of content? Managing modular, topic-based content for assembly into multiple deliverables? Wondering how you are ever going to find enough time to do everything that needs to be done to restructure and invigorate all that legacy content you’re sinking under?.

Come for cost effective ways to produce and manage content and increase the value of information for customers. Content Management Strategies/DITA North America, in its 10th year, remains the premier conference if you are managing technical and business-oriented content throughout the enterprise.

At CMS/DITA North America 2008, you’ll join a returning community of information developers, product developers, and publishers who value building and managing core content as much as its presentation and delivery. See the conference schedule, especially the DITA Track.

Registration


April 23-24, 2008

Open Publish 2008

Open Publish 2008 is an event focused on both the management and implementation issues relating to publishing technology based on open standards.

The most effective way to learn about technology is in person! So while there are many avenues for continual skills development on a day to day basis, Open Publish is a once a year immersion in the open technology standards, business and human factors that are driving change in the publishing process. See the conference schedule

Registration


May 6-9, 2008

DocTrain West 2008

The theme of the 2nd Annual Documentation & Training West Conference is Web 2.0 and Its Impact on Communication. The event takes place May 6-9, 2008.

See the program schedule

Registration


June 9-13, 2008

Adobe FrameMaker 8: DITA Publishing Boot Camp

Bright Path Solutions will offer a special DITA-oriented version of their FrameMaker training class.

More information


June 22-24, 2008

X-Pubs, Component Content Management, DITA, S1000D

How can XML and component based content systems fundamentally change how our content consumers see and experience information?

Presentations on:

  • Web 2.0 / multimedia delivery
  • Task-based Information Architecture
  • Innovative training and eLearning delivery
  • Innovations in presentation and collaboration models
  • Getting the most out of user-driven content
  • Effective workflow design

Who should come?

X-Pubs 2008 is for Team Leaders, Technical Communicators, Product Managers, Learning Content professionals, and so on who are looking to improve the way content is reused and communicated inside and outside their organisation.

Registration


About DITA Newsletter

DITA Newsletter is published by DITA News, one of a network of websites in support of DITA. It is available online at www.ditanewsletter.com.

Each of our websites is optimized for some community-oriented function.

DITA Users - helping members get started with topic-based authoring using a web-based editor (DITA Storm), the Open Toolkit on the server, a personal workspace folder on the web with three starter DITA docsets, and a private member directory to locate other DITA Users.
ditausers.org

DITA Infocenter - the DITA architectural and language specifications, and the Open Toolkit User Guide, in an Eclipse Help format.
ditainfocenter.com

DITA News - a blog aggregator, a mailing list, and this newsletter on DITA.
ditanews.com

DITA Blog - a group blog for DITA information developers (based on WordPress).
ditablog.com

DITA Wiki - over 600 pages of resources in a format that encourages comments and discussions (based on MediaWiki).
ditawiki.org

Please consider joining DITA Users today. Membership is $100USD/year and includes your choice of either: Introduction to DITA by JoAnn Hackos or an Academic License to the <oXygen/> XML Editor, with WebDAV access to your workspace folder on DITA Users.

Your membership fee supports our network of websites, including this newsletter. Discounts on DITA conferences and workshops more than offset your annual membership fee

http://www.ditausers.org/membership/how_to_join/

# | skyLink | skyWriter | Comments (0)

DITA Newsletter 1.8
by bobdoyle
Posted at


Features in this issue (see the web version at www.ditanewsletter.com)

DITA User Group Meetings


Research Triangle Park DITA Users Group

Wednesday, March 20 at 5:30-6:30 PM

The RTP DUG is being revived. They will meet at


Systems Documentation, Inc.
1005 Slater Road, Suite 220
Durham, NC, 27703

Contact Kris Eberlein (keberlein at sdicorp.com) for more information.

Silicon Valley DITA Interest Group

Wednesday, March 12 at 7:00pm PST:

Topic: Roundtable Discussion
Location: NetAppliance. 495 E. Java Drive Bldg 3, Santa Cruz conference room Sunnyvale, CA 94089 (Google Map)

Toronto DITA User Group

Thursday, March 6 at 7:00pm EST:

Presenter: Rhys Griffiths, AMD, an information architect and team lead with AMD working with XML- and CMS-based solutions for over 5 years

Topic: MIgrating to XML/DITA
CMS vendors evangelists frequently show the benefits of working in DITA. This presentation discusses methods and side effects for migrating your content from proprietary text file formats .fm, .doc, .pdf, and .odt to .xml content, specifically to the DITA 1.0 schema. There will be a practical demonstration of FrameMaker Conversion Tables.

Location: IBM Software Lab, 8200 Warden Ave Markham ON (nearest major intersection is Hwy 7 and Warden)


DITA Conferences - Discounts and Free Tickets

DITA Users will be holding a lottery for free tickets to major conferences featuring DITA this spring, including:

These free tickets are worth from $999 to $1299 and are an exclusive benefit for members of DITA Users.

All members need to enter the drawing is to send an email saying you will attend the conference if you win a free ticket. We don't want this valuable prize to go to someone who will not be able to use it. So join DITA Users today and include your request to be in the drawing for one or more of these conferences in the comments section of your order. If you are already a member, send an email request to editor@cmsreview.com.

Don't forget that members of DITA Users get discounts to most major conferences that more than offset their annual membership dues. That includes JoAnn Hackos Workshops, like the DITA Bootcamp this month in Redwood City, CA. See the events section below for details/.


DITA, XML, and Structured Authoring at WritersUA Conference

At the March 16-19 WritersUA Annual Conference for 2008 in Portland, Oregon, a number of sessions will highlight how DITA, XML, and Structured Authoring enable a much more consistent and economical production environment.


Specialization Tutorials

Eliot Kimber presented his Specialization in Real Time Tutorial at the Boston DITA Users Group

Eliot has now given his real-time specialization tutorial to DITA user groups in Austin, TX and Boulder, CO, and Boston.

You can see the video at media.skybuilders.com/DITA/KimberSpecialization/.

Eliot's Powerpoint presentation slides are at www.ditausers.org/tutorials/specialization/KimberBDUG.ppt

Bob Ducharme has prepared a specialization tutorial for IBM developerWorks. It requires that you register for a free IBM ID and password.
www.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/x-dw-x-ditaspecial.html

We have added these two tutorials to a dozen more specialization tutorials on the DITA Users site.
www.ditausers.org/tutorials/specialization/


DITA with XDocs XML CMS

Nenad Furtula and Jim Tivy of Bluestream presented at the Silicon Valley Digital Interest Group on February 13.

You can download this Flash presentation from:

www.ditausers.org/tutorials/cms/xdocs/


Practical Uses for DITA

PTC will present two online webinars this month on DITA applications. See the Events section below for dates and registration links.


Now 516 DITA Users Members from 32 countries

The DITA Users international membership organization now provides basic online DITA editing and a personal workspace folder for free. Since free memberships were restored on January 1, the growth rate is back to 50 new members a month.

The full $100/year membership will include the choice of the leading book on DITA or a desktop DITA Editor to complement the web-based DITA Storm editor.

The book (a $50 value) is JoAnn Hackos' Introduction to DITA - either the original edition by Kylene Bruski and Jennifer Linton or the new Arbortext Edition.

The desktop editor is the $48 Academic Edition of the <oXygen/> XML Editor, now at version 9 with full DITA support.

Desktop editors communicate with web servers via FTP or WebDAV (distributed authoring and versioning). DITA Users can now WebDAV enable individual members' workspace folders.

Most DITA authoring tools offer WebDAV, some as a premium only available in their Enterprise Editions (for example, Syntext Serna and XMLmind).

DITA Users still offers a $50 discount membership without the book or desktop editor. Benefits include a WebDAV enabled folder and discounts on major DITA conferences.

Anyone with a WebDAV-enabled DITA authoring tool can use it on their DITA Users document sets. These include two docsets from IBM and the docset from Comtech Services in the Introduction to DITA book. They can also create their own projects.

Practically speaking, anyone already invested in an advanced DITA authoring tool may be beyond the need for the "DITA from A to B" learning offered by DITA Users. But the new access method may make online training valuable for small tech pub groups who can now use their familiar tools (like Arbortext Editor or XMetaL Author) on the DITA Users website, as well as use innovative tools like the web-based DITA Storm, while their teams get started with DITA.

In any case, DITA Users member fees underwrite our network of DITA support websites, including this newsletter. So please consider joining today.


Upcoming DITA Events


March 10-14, 2008

DITA Boot Camp

JoAnn Hackos Workshop Series
Redwood City, CA

This workshop includes a complimentary copy of the Introduction to DITA: A Basic User Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture book.

In the DITA Boot Camp program you'll get the core values of

  • Structured Authoring
  • Information Modeling
  • Minimalism
  • Business process change
  • DITA details and implementation

Registration

DITA Users registration discounts: Members contact Lovonya Thomas at lovonya@comtech-serv.com to receive a 10% member discount.

March 11, 2008

Practical Uses for DITA

Part 1: Service Manual Application
Presenter: Peter Velikin ~ PTC Director Product Marketing

Registration

March 16-19, 2008

WritersUA Annual Conference for 2008

The WritersUA Conference includes many cutting-edge topics. As part of your conference registration you receive printed Conference Proceedings and admission to the Exhibition, Peer Showcase, Product Demonstrations, Networking Lunches and a Networking Reception. See the news article above for session details.

Registration

March 26, 2008

Practical Uses for DITA

Part 2: Product Documentation and Training
Presenter: Jeff Filo ~ PTC Curriculum Development Manager

Registration

See the DITA News Events Calendar for future events.


About DITA Newsletter

DITA Newsletter is published by DITA News, one of a network of websites in support of DITA. It is available online at www.ditanewsletter.com.

Each of our websites is optimized for some community-oriented function.

DITA Users - helping members get started with topic-based authoring using a web-based editor (DITA Storm), the Open Toolkit on the server, a personal workspace folder on the web with three starter DITA docsets, and a private member directory to locate other DITA Users.
ditausers.org

DITA Infocenter - the DITA architectural and language specifications, and the Open Toolkit User Guide, in an Eclipse Help format.
ditainfocenter.com

DITA News - a blog aggregator, a mailing list, and this newsletter on DITA.
ditanews.com

DITA Blog - a group blog for DITA information developers (based on WordPress).
ditablog.com

DITA Wiki - over 600 pages of resources in a format that encourages comments and discussions (based on MediaWiki).
ditawiki.org

Please consider joining DITA Users today. Membership is $100USD/year and includes your choice of either: Introduction to DITA by JoAnn Hackos or an Academic License to the <oXygen/> XML Editor, with WebDAV access to your workspace folder on DITA Users.

Your membership fee supports our network of websites, including this newsletter. Discounts on DITA conferences and workshops more than offset your annual membership fee

http://www.ditausers.org/membership/how_to_join/

# | skyLink | skyWriter | Comments (0)

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