It is now one year since we started developing the DITA Users member organization.
We wish you a Happy New Year for 2008! To celebrate we are restoring free memberships in DITA Users!
Since we started charging for new memberships, member growth has slowed. We have added only about 30 new members since October 1, 2007. While we think the annual fee is small considering the benefits, it is obviously not small enough.
When DITA Users Beta membership was free, we grew quickly to nearly 400 members (from 24 countries).
We would like to restore free memberships and get more people around the world starting with DITA and topic-based writing.
We think that Software as a Service (SaaS) DITA Training is the absolute minimum investment in time and expertise to create a DITA working environment for small tech writing groups and especially for individual freelance writers who want to add DITA skills to a resumé.
A free membership will include the DITA Storm browser-based editor and online DITA Open Toolkit. Each member workspace folder will have the three sample docsets. It will not include our new WebDAV access to support desktop DITA editors.
A full $100/year membership now includes the choice of the leading book on DITA or a desktop DITA Editor to complement the web-based DITA Storm editor.
The book (a $50 value) is Introduction to DITA - either the original edition by Kylene Bruski and Jennifer Linton, or the new Arbortext Edition by JoAnn Hackos.
The desktop editor is the $48 Academic Edition of the <oXygen/> XML Editor, now at version 9 with full DITA support.
Desktop editors communicate with web servers via FTP or WebDAV (distributed authoring and versioning). DITA Users can now WebDAV-enable individual members' workspace folders.
DITA Users was delighted to learn that SyncRO Soft <oXygen/> supports WebDAV in their $48 Academic Edition. We made an agreement with SyncRO Soft to offer an Academic License to DITA Users for learning DITA online.
If you already have a WebDAV-enabled DITA authoring tool, you can use it on your DITA Users document sets. These include two docsets from IBM and the Comstar User Guide docset from Comtech Services in the Introduction to DITA book.
Buy the book and do the practice exercises in a sharable online space, where you can publish your deliverables. You can also create your own projects, of course.
Membership details are here.