Creating Intelligent Content with Lightweight DITA: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Creating Intelligent Content with Lightweight DITA

1st Edition

By Carlos Evia


216 pages

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pub: 2018-12-19
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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

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

About the Author

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.

About the Series

ATTW Series in Technical and Professional Communication

The ATTW Series in Technical and Professional Communication publishes interesting and useful work in a wide range of topics related to technical and professional communication (TPC), including but not limited to the following: assessment of TPC programs, content management systems, globalization of TPC, human-computer interaction, intercultural communication, health-care and medical communication, pedagogy of TPC, publication management, risk and crisis communication, service learning in TPC, technical and professional editing, translation of TPC, usability/user-experience and accessibility studies, visual communication, and web design and development.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies