Wiki systems make it easy to edit documents online, which makes wikis a compelling tool for document collaboration. Current wiki formats, however, don't allow for the kind of reuse that the DITA was designed to enable.
A natural complement to topic orientation, in which topics are made independent of one another, are various organizing methods for topics.
The DITA map offers authors several ways to organize topics, but users who encounter a DITA map may not wish to access their topics the way the author of the DITA map expected.
"Structuring your Documents for Maximum Reuse," Janice (Ginny) Redish, Best Practices, June 2000. [Best Practices is the bimonthly newsletter of the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)]
Specialization is the process by which new designs are created based on existing designs, allowing new kinds of content to be processed using existing processing rules.
It is the means by which the standard DITA language may be extended for new semantic or structural roles.
Specialization allows you to define new kinds of information (new structural types or new domains of information), while reusing as much of existing design and code as possible, and minimizing or eliminating the costs of interchange, migration, and maintenance.
For some, perhaps the real question is Why XML? (or What is XML?), but assuming you have answered those questions (and are using XML), then the next step is to locate an appropriate data model for your content. This is an important step because you will spend a lot of time and money developing processes and selecting tools to support your chosen data model.