DITA round up

Just doing a little data mining of the posts I’ve written about DITA in the last few years. I think that there’s a gap for DITA users who are writers or content creators and not coders. I’d like to say that DITA bloggers can bridge that gap. Join me on the DITA blog by writing your own experiences with DITA.

These posts are ordered from newest to oldest, and I wrote them to share my experiences with DITA and to chronicle some of the Central Texas DITA User Group meetings I attended.

A watched folder for publishing from DITA source files

June 15, 2007: I’ve figured out a way to automate DITA builds where you just drop a zip file of your DITA source files into a “watched folder” and PDF and CHM files are automatically built.

Usability and inline links in user assistance systems

May 19, 2007: Examining DITA’s linking and usability.

Getting Started with DITA

April 12, 2007: A brief overview for a couple of fellow Austin writers who have asked me recently how and where to get started with DITA.

Checking out the new DITA Users website

April 10, 2007: Using a coupon code (it’s BETA) I joined the new DITA Users website for free today.

A new DITA Open ToolKit release and brand new DITA newbie blog

October 04, 2006 : A couple of blog-worthy items in the DITA world

Turning information into DITA topics

September 14, 2006: What would you do to make this particular type of content into topics?

How to substitute your custom CSS when using DITA Open Toolkit transforms

September 07, 2006 : When you want to use the DITA Open Toolkit transforms but you want to use your own CSS, here’s how to substitute your CSS for HTML Help (CHM)

DITA Open ToolKit now has a User Guide

August 22, 2006: Just released last week, the DITA Open ToolKit now has its own User Guide

Using the DITA catalog for your specializations, creating a Public ID

August 16, 2006 : Thought our discovery might help you as you specialize DITA

Evaluating XML editors for DITA

August 01, 2006: Notes from the July 2006 Central Texas DITA User Group meeting

A web-form-based DITA editor

July 14, 2006: Could this be the perfect storm for a DITA wiki?

Troubleshooting tip for the DITA Open Toolkit install

June 23, 2006 : Finally figured out the fix for my DITA Open Toolkit “resource/messages.xml” not found error

Where to put your files and other setup for DITA

June 09, 2006: Working with the environment setup for DITA

Defining OPML and relating to DITA maps

May 31, 2006: I found a nice definition for OPML from whatis.com as their word of the day, and I’m starting to wonder about similarities between OPML and DITA maps

Learning more about DITA

May 18, 2006: Learning about how to get started with DITA and a trivia item for fun

Notes from the central Texas DITA user group meeting

April 21, 2006: Two speakers shared their takeaways from DITA 2006 and CMS 2006

Our DITA experience at BMC Software

March 02, 2006: Link to a case study published about BMC’s DITA experience

DITA from the trenches

February 20, 2006: Information Architect from IBM, Kristin Thomas, presented to the Central Texas DITA User’s Group meeting last week, and here are my notes.

Moving from Books to Topic-oriented Writing

January 27, 2006 : A report from JoAnn Hackos’ talk at the Central Texas DITA Users Group meeting January 2006

DITA and wiki combo

December 05, 2005: Darwin Information Typing Architecture, meet Wiki.

Darwin Information Typing Architecture – DITA (dih tuh)

November 04, 2005: Roundup of the DITA reading I’ve been diving back in to lately.


  • Ray Lloyd
    October 18, 2007 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I read your information on dita and css files and wonder if you’ve figured out how to get the classes in the xhtml output. For example, say I want to be slightly larger than the body text I would require a class called “shortdesc” in the output. However, I’m not seeing this. The paragraphs with classes seem to be limited. So is this something you have to “specialize”?
    Thanks for info. By the way, your name seems to be popping up all over when I google for dita and css.
    Greetings from Belgium.

  • October 18, 2007 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi Ray,
    You have an excellent question, and I went directly to the DITA-users Yahoo Group archives for an answer. Sure enough, Deborah Pickett says that there are several elements that do have a div class= associated with them, but I’m guessing that shortdesc is not one of them in version 1.1. See http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/dita-users/message/6865.

    However, I don’t believe you have to write a specialization to create a div class= for each instance of the element. Rather, you would customize the XSLT that is used to create the XHTML from the DITA files. Every time the XSLT finds a , re-write the transform so that it wraps a div class= around the HTML output. Then your content would be style-able with CSS.

    Let me know if that description makes sense. I haven’t personally modified the DITA OpenTool Kit XSLT, so I can’t tell you which files to start poking around in. You might also want to post your question to the dita-users Yahoo group to see if others have experience with this particular styling goal.

    Greetings to you from Austin, Texas! Thanks for commenting.

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