Category: Standards

Implementing DITA for DocBook

Norm Walsh does some analysis and attempts to tweak DocBook to address the four technical differences he says the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) provides technical documentation authors. A topic-oriented authoring paradigm A cross-referencing scheme that’s more practical than XML’s flat ID space SGML’s conref, reinvented An extensibility model based...

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Trippe on DITA: Yes, You Still Have to Model Your Content

In DITA Lets Tech Publishers ‘Eat Their Cake’ (Intelligent Enterprise), Bill Trippe writes: “The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is finally pushing aside roadblocks that have stood in the way of adopting XML-based publishing.” The article addresses (briefly) the often avoided issue of content modeling (some writers think adopting DITA means they don’t have to model their content—a fallacy). It also points out what many consultants have been saying: DITA requires customization (called ‘specialization’ in DITA lingo). There are significant costs associated with specializing DITA that may make it the wrong choice for some organizations. Trippe doesn’t address this...

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Deconstructing Content Standards

Standards and content management go hand in hand. Content is stored in a definitive source as reusable elements that can be reassembled as required to form numerous and different information products. Because content can be used in so many different ways, it needs to conform to standards. You need standards for authoring, standards for making information accessible, standards for graphics. In this issue of The Rockley Report, content management practitioners deconstruct some of the standards, focusing on why standards are important, and how they impact content management. The March issue opens with a case study that describes how one...

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XML Levels Educational Playing Field For Blind and Visually Impaired

For the blind and visually impaired new technology has literally opened up the doors to education. They can listen to a textbook on a computer or read it using refreshable Braille. Yet students with print disabilities have had to wait six months or longer for an accessible textbook to be made available to them. This is set to change, however, thanks to a reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA). The act, signed by President Bush on December 3, 2004 is geared to give students with visual disabilities the same access to educational materials as their sighted peers....

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Electronic Government: Challenges to Effective Adoption of the Extensible Markup Language

The U.S. General Accounting Office report entitled Electronic Government: Challenges to Effective Adoption of the Extensible Markup Language is an excellent source of information for those seeking to adopt an XML-based content management system. The report outlines difficulties preventing widespread implementation of XML, describes several current federal XML projects, illustrates hypothetical uses of XML in government and in industry, and provides recommendations for adopting an “enterprise architecture” to avoid creating a “patchwork solution” (silos). Additionally, the report recommends a series of steps designed to improve the federal government’s planning for adoption of XML. Download a free copy of the...

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