Subject: Re: DITA?
From: "Michael Priestley" <mpriestl -at- ca -dot- ibm -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 12:43:43 -0400

lisava -at- psitek -dot- com writes:
>I am trying to find out more about DITA, Could someone help me.
>I have been looking into using docbook, but am sceptical. I came across
>DITA, but would like to know what makes DITA better than Docbook?

For more information:
go to the resources at the end of the article for links to the forum
and to the full package with docs, DTDs, transforms, etc.
a comprehensive list of DITA resources, publications, and

I don't know that I'd say DITA is better than DocBook - they serve
different purposes, have different strengths and weaknesses, and are at
different stages in their lifecycle. DocBook has been around a lot longer
and is better supported, and has very good coverage for creating technical
manuals. DITA is a more recent architecture, and concentrates on
topic-oriented information that can be singlesourced for online help, Web
sites, or PDFs.

One of DITA's main features is the way it can be extended. DITA follows
some of the principles of object-oriented design, which let you customize
the architecture if you need to with minimal impact to interchange,
maintenance, or interoperability of your customized content and transforms.
In other words, you can get a solution that is tailored to your information
while still sharing common tools and transforms, and still being able to
build a mix of content from different sources into a single output (PDF,
Web site, or help set). There are some recent posts in the DITA forum
showing how you can create specialized modules and integrate them into new
DTDs, in addition to the examples at the developerWorks site.

That said, you don't need to specialize DITA in order to use it: the base
package covers the major information types of concept, task, and reference,
and you only need to extend those if your information and your users need
more specific support.

Michael Priestley
DITA Specialization Architect

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