The group met on 7th March for a presentation by Richard Pineger on ‘Exploring the XML of DITA’. Richard introduced the basic ideas behind DITA, then went on to demonstrate how they can be used in practice with the oXygen XML editing tool. We looked at how to create topics of different types, how oXygen helps the author to create valid DITA and how to publish the same content to four different outputs. Richard also demonstrated some of oXygen’s more powerful features, such as it’s Xpath search function – something I will definitely be making use of in future. Finally we looked at source control and how to use subversion to manage DITA content.
Richard demonstrated how it is possible for a lone author, using free or very affordable tools, to author successfully in DITA. The authoring tools (especially oXygen) are getting more user-friendly all the time and it gave me a lot of ideas on how to help my smaller clients, without the budget for a CCMS, begin their DITA journey.