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DITA XML can be daunting, especially for newcomers from authoring environments like MS Word. The fundamentals of good technical writing, however, are embodied in the DITA standard. Once you wrap your head around a few simple concepts, it is not as hard as it first...

An Intro to DITA DITA stands for Darwin Information Typing Architecture, and is an XML-based open standard for developing, managing, structuring, and publishing content both for print and the web. DITA is not just a standard but a methodology—some might even call it a philosophy. Unlike...

For technical writers, the DITA standard represents three main things: a) a set of templates to follow, b) mechanisms for reuse and c) conditional publishing.   A Closer Look at the DITA Standard Contrary to popular belief, DITA authoring is simple. DITA for writers is neither a tool...

A content management system is a software that helps create, organize, and maintain digital content. Generally, CMSs support multiple users. They provide ample benefits for large businesses, including significant cost savings, increased collaboration among team technical documentation team members (even the non-technically minded), and total...

Tech writers work hard to understand the domain, terminology, and specifications of each product. Often, the most challenging part of the process is getting quality review from SMEs. When doc bugs come in, it’s the tech writer’s neck on the line—no matter who is responsible for...

Early adopters of the DITA XML architecture include semiconductors leaders like AMD, Intel, Freescale, NXP, and STMicroelectronics. More recent adopters are Altera, ARM, and Infineon. So why are these companies using DITA for content? DITA XML is a standard used to create documentation that enables a...

According to "The Good Fight," a book by historian Stephen E. Ambrose, American factories produced 89,000 tanks, 300,000 military aircraft, seven million rifles, three million machine guns, and more than 650,000 Jeeps during World War II. This makes one wonder: were there enough subject matter experts...

While I receive many conference invitations, I was particularly intrigued when I received an invitation out-of-the-blue to present at the SIGDOC conference in Halifax. SIGDOC (which stands for “Special Interest Group on Design of Communication”) is a conference hosted by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and...

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