History of DITA

DITA was originally developed within the technical publications department at IBM, but was donated to OASIS in 2004. It is now maintained by the OASIS DITA Technical Committee.

DITA was developed by technical communicators, for technical communicators.

DITA started within the technical publications department at IBM. IBM had been using SGML (Standard Generalised Mark-up Language) for its documentation for many years, and had pioneered a number of document formats including IBM BookMaster and IBM ID Doc. The knowledge accumulated from working with those document formats was applied to the development of an XML-based document approach. The principal architects of IBM DITA were Don Day, Michael Priestley, and Dave Schell.

DITA became known outside IBM after the publication of An XML Architecture for Technical Documentation: The Darwin Information Typing Architecture by Don Day, Erik Hennum, John Hunt, Michael Priestley, and David Schell at the 2003 STC Conference.

In March 2004, IBM donated DITA to the OASIS standards organisation, where it is now managed by the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, or DITA TC. In April 2005, OASIS approved Version 1.0 of the DITA specification. In August 2007, OASIS approved version 1.1 of the DITA specification. In the second half of 2010, version 1.2 of the DITA specification was approved.

The charter of the DITA TC is to promote the use of the DITA architecture for creating standard information types and domain-specific mark-up vocabularies. The members of the TC are representatives from different industries, organisations and countries.