Michael Priestley, one of IBM's DITA Architects, provides an introduction to DITA, followed by an introduction to some authoring best practices with DITA, and finishing with an end-to-end example of task-based information architecture using DITA maps.
The day kicked off with Susan Carpenter of IBM - one of DITA's first real users, and a big influence on its evolution - talking about process, and how DITA maps can be used to distribute workload among writers, manage reviews, manage translation - in her words, the maps become the process currency of the team. As always an excellent presentation with lots to chew on.
The highlight was Norm Walsh's speech on DITA and DocBook. He noted that they do they have different characteristics: DocBook is large but very flexible, DITA is more constrained and explicitly focused on topic-based authoring. All good so far.
Endings always signal new beginnings. As the DITA 2006 conference draws to a close, its time to reflect on the meta lessons that are emerging from the presentations, discussions, and experiences.
Many thanks to Kay Ethier for hosting this conference. The facilities have all been good for the sessions and breakouts. And RTP has many interesting venues (food and entertainment) to offer the traveller who has some spare time and can find their way to these destinations. I got to hear the Robbie Reid Band do a rendition of Jimi Hendrix' "Little Wing" that was truly poignant--and great blues from those bros.
I'm on an Internet--oh oh--Radio:
Today started out differently for some of us. Due to some scheduling issues, I ended up being the first guest on the "Live from DITA 2006" MyTechnologyLawyer.com radio show with Scott Draughon. A picture below shows Dave Schell on his stint, with Scott Abel in the foreground directing the remote studio activities here. What a trip! I think we did a good job, and Abel says that the connections were filled right from the start. If you were unable to tune in live, remember that these shows are recorded and you can listen to them later.
Scroll down to the bottom if you're wondering what the post title means. First comes my reaction to the sessions I attended.
The day kicked off with Dave Schell sharing some reuse statistics and case studies from IBM, showing DITA reuse at ca.70-80% in sharing content across similar products, with substantial savings being invested back into documentation improvements, such as more tutorials and sample development. In addition he talked about some projects using DITA in IBM outside of the traditional tech doc realm, including e-learning, and on-demand publishing for business partners of customized configuration guides using generated DITA maps.