DITA Summer of DITA

Published on September 3rd, 2013 | by Rahel Bailie


The Summer of DITA becomes The Autumn of…?

Never mind the autumnal equinox, when Labour Day weekend is over and the rains have started in earnest, that’s the end of summer. And with that, the Summer of DITA has ended.

The Summer of DITA was a bit of an unexpected detour. I wanted to respond to a comment made on a list somewhere, which led to a very long blog post, which I split into two columns. When the response was “can’t wait for part 3″, the challenge was on.

So what did we cover this summer?

  • What DITA is and can do
  • Why DITA and the Web live in parallel worlds
  • How “granular” content in the Web world still means a “BLOB” in the DITA world
  • Why the Web needs DITA, and why it’s not likely to happen (or at least not for a long time)
  • How much more DITA can do for multiple audiences, and how complex it is to do that
  • The superior skill and discipline needed by writers to use DITA effectively
  • How DITA is the ultimate COPE (Create Once, Publish Everywhere) architecture

It’s been a lot of fun exploring this topic, and finding ways to explain some rather gnarly concepts in accessible ways. But now that the summer is over, it’s time to cut back to a more manageable publishing schedule, and to look at something other than DITA.

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About the Author

Rahel Anne Bailie is a synthesizer of content strategy, requirements analysis, information architecture, and content management to increase the ROI of content. She has consulted for clients in a range of industries, and on several continents, whose aim is to better leverage their content as business assets. Founder of Intentional Design, she is now the Chief Knowledge Officer of London-based Scroll. She is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, she has worked in the content business for over two decades. She is co-author of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits, and co-editor of The Language of Content Strategy, and is working on her third content strategy book,

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