Information Management News
A monthly e-newsletter from The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)
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Technology Helps the OASIS DITA Standard Tip
For the past several weeks, we have been reviewing the latest releases of JustSystems XMetaL Editor and PTC’s Arbortext Editor. Both vendors have made significant improvements to the usability and functionality of their products. XMetaL has an impressive WYSIWYG-like interface that makes text entry easy. Arbortext has released its DITA–compatible Styler that helps in creating style sheets for PDF and HTML output. Both products have significant support for setting up DITA maps with easy-to-use functionality supporting conditional processing. Although I personally prefer to use the tags-on view when I’m writing, writers who prefer a more Word-like interface can select that convenient mode of operation. If others in your organization prefer something even more Word-like, you might implement Elkera or In.vision. If you prefer to stay in the FrameMaker environment, you can take advantage of the DITA plug-in for this desktop publishing tool.
DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is on the leading edge of information management and is certainly one of the industry’s most significant developments in the last 10 years. DITA takes into consideration many common information challenges that content-rich organizations face and attempts to offer practical solutions with smart content modeling. There are several things that DITA offers that other “standard” information models do not. The core DITA concepts are good, the potential to re-use information is outstanding, and the potential to share information across business units to keep information consistent and accurate is promising. One other aspect that makes DITA unique is the large user community and freely available online support groups that make it an unparalleled standard – making adoption easy. When you take into consideration all of DITA’s attributes, if you haven’t looked into DITA, you should.
Are you suffering from bouts of technophilia? Do you bend over backwards to understand technology? If you write daily about new or complex products, it seems highly improbable that you will not value the underlying technology. Most writers admit that they continually face the challenge in learning different technologies at their workplace. If content is today’s king, then why such an outcry about technology?
In an eight article series for the e-newsletter, CIDM will be discussing buying tips for typical services and products that you, as an information developer, might be interested in buying.
This is the fourth in our e-newsletter series of purchasing guides for purchasing information-development products and services. In this issue we look at XML authoring tools.
What are the top pressures on the documentation department, the biggest challenges, the processes and technologies that are working – or not working? Most documentation professionals probably have ready answers to these questions within the confines of their own organizations. But what’s the big picture?