Now reading up

I have decided to start reading up on DITA using Linton's and Bruski's book Introduction to DITA. I have also had a talk with our resident XML guru Ed, and he supports the idea of moving our documentation to DITA.

I have read up on the concept topic, and I'm about to move into the task topic. I have worked with structured documentation before, so the ideas are not new to me. I worked with structured documents back in the FrameBuilder 4 days. I remember the first day I worked in a FrameBuilder document, it took me all day to figure out how to type text onto a page. The container was a big hurdle for me to overcome. I'm afraid that if our group decided to adopt DITA, that problem would happen all over again for those not familiar with working in structured documents.

My head also begins to spin when I consider the effort it would take to switch from our current documents to the DITA-based documents. Part of me is excited, part of me is terrified. I can see the benefits of DITA, and I can also see the costs in switching.

True single-sourcing is a cool thing, and I can see the advantages that DITA could offer in that regard. I would also like to see the documentation moved out of FrameMaker, even though Frame to DITA seems precisely what Structured FrameMaker is designed for. But I would like to see us move to a straight text-based editing process.

But I have to remind myself: we are still very, very preliminary. I imagine a transition from our current writing style to a DITA-based system would take 2 years. And that's a minimum.

X-Pubs ( 2007 (June 4-5) is going to have Emma Hamer the Change Management consultant presenting on this kind of thing.  X-Pubs is a brilliant XML Content Management and XML Publishing conference which tackles this kind of issue as well as having a technology perspective.
The 2007 Conference will have lots of users presenting their own XML, DITA, CMS stories from organisations like Schlumberger, British Medical Journal and the Irish Government.

Michael Priestly the IBM DITA lead, Emma Hamer, Scott Abel, the Rockley Group who will be presenting a DITA-based case study,  and Svante Ericcson from the S1000D committee will all be presenting.

Check Emma's profile out on the site.

Elodie E

I'm very interested in your comment:  "I imagine a transition from our current writing style to a DITA-based system would take 2 years. And that's a minimum." I hope others will also respond to this.

Please read my related questions at  How long does it take to go over to DITA? Focus Areas: BPEL | DITA | ebXML | IDtrust | OpenDocument | SAML | UBL | UDDI
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