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This page displays entries posted by all DITA bloggers in chronological order. You may also view entries by author or blog name as well as a list of DITA-related blogs on external sites.

Michael Priestley

Overview of Lightweight DITA (XDITA and HDITA)

The goal of this proposal is to align a lightweight DITA profile in XML with an equivalent markup specification based on HTML5. This is not a complete specification, just something to start the discussion going. There's still lots of room for change, as well as for adding specific mappings for additional semantics for learning and training content, epubs, or other formats.

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In pursuit of the ultimate techCom information architecture

How Do We Make Short Answers Easy to Find?

Many users avoid user manuals since they find it cumbersome to search for information in static structures, such as a table of contents. Technical communicators need to move away from the book-like paradigm altogether, and provide user assistance designed to accommodate the information-seeking behavior of users.

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In pursuit of the ultimate techCom information architecture

Should the Answer to a User Question be a Short or a Long Topic?

A user asks questions when stuck in product use. Displaying information-seeking behavior, they search for answers; and it’s you—the technical communicator—who is responsible for providing them with one. But then you get stuck as you ask yourself: how long should the answer be? As the question of topic size, (as in a DITA topic), continues to be controversial in the technical communication community, we also need to ask ourselves how the size of an answer relates to the size of a topic. My conclusion is that users prefer short answers. Why is this?

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Jim Owens

DITA adoption -- seven years later

DITA has come a long way in the seven years since my last blog post. There are more resources, more and better tools, and livelier discussions on the DITA user groups. Yet Tony Self's What's Impeding DITA Adoption?, written just two years ago, still has currency. Why?

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In pursuit of the ultimate techCom information architecture

Will an answer be easy to find if we mimic human dialog in user assistance?

Research has shown that most people avoid using the traditional book-like manual, whether it’s on- or offline. Researchers have provided a number of explanations to why this is the case. One common explanation is that users avoid manuals since they perceive them to be difficult to search.

In response, many technical communicators are exploring innovative new ways to design and deliver user assistance to make manuals more user-friendly. To make the manual an option for the user, we need to make answers easy to find.

Read more Focus Areas: BPEL | DITA | ebXML | IDtrust | OpenDocument | SAML | UBL | UDDI
OASIS sites: OASIS | Cover Pages | | AMQP | CGM Open | eGov | Emergency | IDtrust | LegalXML | Open CSA | OSLC | WS-I