How to get started with DITA

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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:35 pm

How to get started with DITA

Post by signal15 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:42 pm

What's the best way to get started with DITA? I have the demo version of Oxygen now to do some testing, and I've set up an SVN repository.

I want a few things out of this:
- version control, obviously
- content reuse. Content is maintained by subject matter experts within the company, and I can pull this data and insert the latest copies into client deliverables
- The ability to have templates which prepopulate with content from the repository and offer the ability to reorder or add/remove other content to tailor the document to the client needs

I know all of this is possible, but I don't know where to start.

Also, when setting up the repository, do I need to create a separate project for each client, or can I just have one main project that has all of the different clients and reusable intellectual property in different directories? Would it be better to use a database for this?

Posts: 7154
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:18 pm

Re: How to get started with DITA

Post by Radu » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:52 am


First of all, Oxygen uses the DITA Open Toolkit to produce output in different formats (PDF, HTML, etc) from DITA maps so a good place to ask questions about customizing output or follow discussions is joining the DITA Users list:

My recommandation for starting up is the lone dita tutorial: ... aguide.pdf

Here are some links that the people on the DITA users list usually recommand:

All our DITA Resources are now on a network of DITA support sites:

Also check out the following:

Introduction to DITA: A User Guide by Jennifer Linton and Kylene Bruski (Comtech Services, Lakewood, CO) ... s_learned/

Here are some answers to your other questions:

1) About the version control, of course you can use the Syncro SVN client integrated with Oxygen.

2) About content reuse, when a DITA topic is opened in the Author page from Oxygen you have an action to insert a DITA content reference and reuse in this way parts from other topics. See this link for more details: ... ntent.html

3) You can add your own file templates in Oxygen.
See this link for more details: ... lates.html

4) About setting up the repository you do not necessarily need to have a single repository with all the data. You can have separate repositories and in each repository you can have link to others using "svn:externals". This is a special property which can be specified on a parent folder which will make it actually a link to a different repository's content.

Radu Coravu
<oXygen/> XML Editor

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