There’s a rumor floating around the ether that says that Blast Radius is working on a wiki built on the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA). Whether the rumor will prove to be true remains to be seen, but the idea was introduced publically during XTech2005 by Paul Prescod, Group Program Manager, Blast Radius XMetaL.
In The convergence of structure and chaos, Prescod wrote, “We believe that by combining rich XML (DITA) structure, collaborative DocumentSpaces and wikis, we can help organizations break down the barriers that prevent them from achieving cross-departmental collaboration. We hope that this will allow these organizations to deliver more interesting products to market more quickly and efficiently.”
Prescod says that wikis could benefit from XML technologies like DITA and that several DITA features are relevant to wikis, including:
- DITA’s notion of “topic” is equivalent to the wiki’s notion of “page”. Both DITA and wikis encourage authors to break up their content into short, easily digestible segments that are meaningful on their own.
- DITA categorizes topics according to their “topic type”. A few wikis do as well. In DITA, a topic type has its own schema and stylesheet. As we’ll describe later, these could also be helpful concepts for Wikis. DITA allows topic types to derive from each other in a process known as “specialization”.
- DITA has a notion of metadata that allows users to categorize, query and filter topics. A few wikis have a similar concept, but the metadata models tend to be proprietary.
- DITA topics can incorporate content from other topics using a feature called “content referencing”. Content referencing allows “virtual” documents to be constructed by including content from a variety of topics into a single view.
Watch this space for more news on the availability of a DITA wiki. And, register soon for the upcoming DITA 2006 conference.