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From Rob Weir <>
Subject DITA for Doc?
Date Wed, 06 Jul 2011 21:10:38 GMT
Would it be worth considering using DITA for the documentation/help?

I love ODF as much as anyone, but DITA was designed specifically for
technical documentation, and has built-in facilities for making
modular "topics" that then can be reassembled, with a "map" to
assemble larger works.  This gives you the ability, for example, to
have paragraph that only shows up in the Linux version of the doc, but
not in the Windows version.

You also get an easy ability, via the DITA Open Toolkit (which is
Apache 2.0 licensed), to transform the DITA source into a large
variety of output forms, including:

ODT (Open Document Format)
Eclipse Help
Java Help
Eclipse Content
Word RTF

The authors focus on the structure and content, and the layout and
styling is deferred until publication time.  So you have a great deal
of flexibility for targeting the same content to various uses.

The other nice thing is that DITA is text (well, XML specifically), so
we use SVN to manage the content, can do diff's, merges, use the
editor of our choice, etc.

I'd like to argue for the advantages of DITA as a source format here.
I can probably find some volunteers to help enabled this.  The
Symphony team uses DITA for doc/help, and we've already done the work
of converting much of the OOo help to DITA.


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