1st Edition

Creating Intelligent Content with Lightweight DITA

By Carlos Evia Copyright 2019
    236 Pages
    by Routledge

    236 Pages
    by Routledge

    Creating Intelligent Content with Lightweight DITA documents the evolution of the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) – a widely used open standard for structuring technical content. DITA has grown in popularity and features since its origins as an internal grammar for structuring technical documentation at IBM. This book introduces Lightweight DITA (LwDITA, which should be read as "Lightweight DITA") as a proposed version of the DITA standard that reduces its dependence on complex Extensible Markup Language (XML) structures and simplifies its authoring experience. This volume aims to reconcile discrepancies and similarities in methods for authoring content in industry and academia and does so by reporting on DITA’s evolution through the lens of computational thinking, which has been connected in scholarship and media to initiatives for learning to code and programming.

    Evia’s core argument is that if technical communicators are trained with principles of rhetorical problem solving and computational thinking, they can create structured content in lightweight workflows with XML, HTML5, and Markdown designed to reduce the learning curve associated with DITA and similar authoring methodologies. At the same time, this book has the goal of making concepts of structured authoring and intelligent content easier to learn and teach in humanities-based writing and communication programs. This book is intended for practitioners and students interested in structured authoring or the DITA standard.

    Table of Contents




    Chapter 1: Revisiting the Future of Technical Communication

    Chapter 2: Before Intelligent Content, There Was the Computer Manual

    Chapter 3: How DITA Evolved into LwDITA

    Chapter 4: The LwDITA Initial Authoring Formats

    Chapter 5: The LwDITA Map Components

    Chapter 6: The LwDITA Topic Components

    Chapter 7: The Abstractions Behind Intelligent Content

    Chapter 8: Abstractions in the LwDITA Content Lifecycle

    Conclusion: Remaking the Future of Technical Communication with LwDITA


    Carlos Evia is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at Virginia Tech. He teaches courses in professional communication and content management strategies. Carlos is also a voting member of the DITA technical committee and co-chair of the Lightweight DITA subcommittee at the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards.