XML & DITA question
Discussion started by Sarah Baca , on 23 June 11:49 AM

Hi All,

I hope this question belongs here ... sorry if it doesn't.

I've just started my first technical writing job. I'll be writing and editing technical manuals for military equipment. I'll be starting the nitty gritty training next week.

Here they use a software called XMetaL and an asset management tool called Alienbrain. Other than an HTML class five years ago and playing around with Dreamweaver, my knowledge is lacking.

I've been reading and watching video tutorials on Scriptorium. I'm feeling much more comfortable with XML and DITA in general than I did a few days ago but I'd like to dig in a bit more. Does anyone have any books or other resources that they can recommend that might help?

There are several technical writers here but none have their degree in tech comm. They are mostly engineers who have moved to technical writing.

Any help is very appreciated :)



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Karen Lowe
Oops. I should review my posts before I hit send. It's www.ditachicks.com.
Friday, 24 June 2011 00:40
Gina Goodson Wadley
Hi Karen,
What's the URL for your blog?
Thursday, 23 June 2011 19:09
Karen Lowe
!Shameless plug!
My colleague and I have a blog that's all about DITA. There might be some info there that would help you get going. We have been using DITA for 4 years and we think it's an extremely powerful tool. We haven't used XMetal as our editor, but right at the code level. XMetal is more WYSIWYG and hides some of the tags.

You might also have a look at ditainfo.info for some information. Also the dita users group on Yahoo is very helpful.

Did you inherit content or are you starting from scratch?
Thursday, 23 June 2011 19:00
Gina Goodson Wadley

From the Oasis link you provided, I searched for "DITA and video" and found this page through one of the results: http://www.ditausers.org/tutorials/basics/. I'm watching one by Michael Priestley from IBM: http://www.ditausers.org/tutorials/basics/Priestley_Intro/

Thanks very much!
Thursday, 23 June 2011 12:57
Nicky Bleiel
You might find the "Related Activities" section on the OASIS DITA Technical Committee page useful: http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=dita

And Tony Self's new book "The DITA Style Guide: Best Practices for Authors" ( http://www.amazon.com/DITA-Style-Guide-Practices-Authors/dp/0982811810)
Thursday, 23 June 2011 12:25
Gina Goodson Wadley

Thanks for posting this, as I could really benefit from some DITA XML basic training right now. We're getting ready to convert our RoboHelp and Flare help docs into FrameMaker 10 using FM's DITA feature. Right now it is overwhelming to me.

I would love to find some free online videos. I've seen several out there but they're expensive, and I need some recommendations.

Thursday, 23 June 2011 11:55