DITA OpenToolkit Web GUI
Keeping DITA simple
Random postings related to DITA and various alien encounters along the way...
When thinking in terms of technical writing, one might at times confuse the people involved with documenting the software with those actually writing it.
I mean, who doesn’t get a kick out of impressing your co-workers and peers simply by firing up a terminal session, editing XML files and performing various “Matrix style maneuvers” only to produce a shiny new PDF on the other side? Being a developer, I have no issues with this, but having dealt with DITA both at the developer and user levels, I’ll be the first to admit being guilty of expecting the “documentation geeks” ( no offense here, Geek is the new cool :) ) to do the same.
Building a Manual? Well, there’s something you never thought you’d be doing with your documentation, I mean, what happened to just writing and saving the thing? This is the 21st century right? Sure you have some commercial initiatives on the go ( a few good open source ones too ) which try to ease the process. Subjecting users to the intricacies of the command line and technical details behind hand-crafted ANT target files without getting some blank stares has been a challenge in my experiences.
Personally I just love what the guys involved with DITA-OT have achieved over the last couple of years and as a contribution and effort to try and remedy the perceived “black magic” behind the Toolkit, I have posted a functional prototype coined the "DITA OpenToolkit WebGUI" which can be downloaded from here.
In short, it is a web based user interface for producing deliverables from your DITA content and allowing the “Geek in you” to shelve the awesome terminal for another day.
The installation process is pretty straight forward and is included in the tarball.
If the above has left you clueless don’t panic! I have posted an online demo but need to do some tweaking. You may however give it a try to preview exactly what I’m rambling on about here.
It’s been GPL’d (that's geek speak for freedom baby!) and I’ll be attending to various enhancement and bug fix requests.
Please visit the SourceForge project for future developments regarding this package.
[ Other keywords: apache, php, web, easy. - Ed. ]