DITA-Anwender Bodensee

Am 25. Mai fand der erste Meetup-Termin mit @axxepta und @thinkDITA in Langenargen am Bodensee statt.

Thema: XML & DITA in der Technischen Kommunikation.

Auf der Agenda: Kennenlernen, Erfahrungsaustausch und Programmideen für die regelmäßigen “DITA-Anwender Bodensee” Meetups.

DITA-Anwender Bodensee erste Meetup-Gruppenkarte

Unser Ziel: informelles Feierabend-Gespräch über DITA-XML-Themen, die uns Alle Interessieren. Weniger Folien, mehr zeigen und mitmachen. Ob man eine Frage stellen möchte, vor einem konkreten Problem steht oder hat etwas probiert und möchte mit uns teilen, nehmen wir gerne auf der Agenda. Es darf auch zu Bierabendgespräch nach 21 Uhr kommen.

DITA und XML sind kostenfreie, weltweite Standarde, die durchs Mitmachen und Mitteilen ihrer Anwender wachsen, sich ständig verbessern, sowie neue Methodologien und Tools herausfordern. Diese Kultur unterstützen wir auch durch die Meetup-Gruppe DITA-Anwendee Bodensee.

Also, Machen Sie mit? Wir freuen uns auf Sie.

DITA-Themen bei XML Prague 2016

English >>

Auf dem Programm der XML Prague Konferrenz, wo die Teilnehmer zwischen 7 Monate und 70 Jahre jung sind, stehen immer mehr DITA Themen und Werkzeuge.

Am ersten Tag fand das oXygen Users Meetup statt. George Bina und sein Team haben das neue Produkt oXygen XML Web Author, dessen Zielgruppe DITA-Reviewers und gelegentliche Autoren sind, angekündigt: https://www.oxygenxml.com/webauthor/

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Ich habe den Web Author gleich auf dem iPhone probiert.

Außerdem, wird die Version 18 des oXygen XML Editors bald herausgegeben, in der noch weitere Möglichkeiten geben wird, DITA-Autoren bei der visuellen Redaktion, sowie DITA-Architekten bei der Implementierung von Einschränkungen und kontrollierten Werten zu unterstützen. Man kann ein bestimmtes Layout mit einem Projekt speichern oder zu einem Framework zuweisen, damit ganze Teams mit den selben Layout-Einstellungen arbeiten können. Einschränkungen (Constraints) werden bald einfach durch einer config-Datei implementiert. Darüberhinaus, könnte man eine ganze XML-Schema lokalisieren, was die Diskussion über DITA-Elemente in beliebigen Sprachen sofort anregte.

Patrik Stellmann hat sein Framework DITA-SEMIA gezeigt: https://github.com/dita-semia

DITA-SEMIA Sequence Diagramms

DITA-SEMIA: Sequential Diagrams

Parallel, in dem BaseX Meetup, hat Eliot Kimber sein Projekt DFST (DITA for Small Teams: http://www.dita-for-small-teams.org/) via Skype vorgetragen.

Maximilian Gärber hat das neue Argon-Author Plugin für DITA Content Management in oXygen und BaseX vorgestellt: argon-author.com Beta-Testers können sich schon anmelden und Argon-Author im BaseX-Sandbox versuchen. Mein kleiner Beitrag dazu, außer die Patentante zu spielen ;), ist das mitgelieferte Demo-DITA-Projekt über Trello.

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XML Prague läuft drei Tage jeden Februar, voller spannenden Vorträge und Workshops aus der XML/XSLT/CSS/FO-Welt: http://www.xmlprague.cz/

DITA sessions at XML Prague 2016

Deutsch >>

The geeky things you hear at an XML conference with participants between 7 months and 70 years young…

“Convincing W3C into marrying XSL-FO and CSS would be like a shotgun wedding.”

“I fixed a bug just with my iPhone today.”

“You might have a super hammer, but not everything is a nail.”

“There is DITA light and DITA not light.”

Now, for the serious business – the number of sessions about DITA practice and tools at XML Prague keeps growing every year.

On day 1, during the oXygen Users Meetup: George Bina and his team launched their new product oXygen XML Web Author, especially crafted for DITA reviewers and occasional authors: https://www.oxygenxml.com/webauthor/

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I couldn’t resist trying it out on my iPhone.

Version 18 of the oXygen XML Editor is also coming soon, and brings further features to support DITA authors with visual editing, as well as DITA architects through easier implementation of constraints and controlled values. You can save a certain layout within a project or a framework, so that entire teams would work with the same layout settings. You’ll soon be able to set constraints by just editing a config file. Moreover, you could easily localize an entire XML schema, and this idea immediately triggered discussions about having DITA elements in any language.

Patrik Stellmann has shown his DITA-SEMIA framework in oXygen: https://github.com/dita-semia

DITA-SEMIA Sequence Diagramms

DITA-SEMIA: Sequential Diagrams

On a parallel track, in the BaseX Meetup, Eliot Kimber presented his DFST project (DITA for Small Teams: http://www.dita-for-small-teams.org/) via Skype.

Maximilian Gärber demonstrated the new Argon-Author plugin for DITA Content Management in oXygen on a BaseX database: argon-author.com You can log in as beta-tester and try out Argon-Author in the BaseX sandbox. My humble contribution, besides naming the baby 😉 ,  is the sample DITA project about Trello, included with the plugin.

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XML Prague runs for three days full of interesting presentations, demos, and workshops from the XML/XSLT/CSS/FO world every February: http://www.xmlprague.cz/

DITA linking best practice at IEn2015

Infomedian of the YearThe three days at Information Energy 2015 in Utrecht have passed too quickly. Everyone seemed to feel at home, the sessions were interactive and fun, speakers and attendants eager to share information and show how they create and publish content in most diverse forms and channels… that’s what makes an infomedian. To round up the experience, apart from teaching a master class and giving a presentation, I had the honor of giving a short interview and being part of the jury in one of the workshops.

The venue also gave it special “energy” – first, Master Classes and presentations at Uni Utrecht, a historical site with classical and retro chambers where the eyes of scientists, professors and artists watched us from old paintings or billboards, followed by workshops at Seats2Meet, a very interesting concept with themed lounges in vintage look.

After the full-day Master Class on the pre-conference day, I also gave a short presentation the next day about DITA Linking Best Practice. We have seen examples and done exercises in the workshop. We have also talked about structured, topic-oriented writing and about DITA architecture: map structure, reuse strategy, authoring environment and publishing pipelines. The presentation afterwards was just the shorthand version of the workshop, but it served to start further discussions. Thank you all for attending! It was great meeting everyone in Utrecht.

Enjoy the prezi and let me know your thoughts:

DITA Linking - prezi

Click the image to open the Prezi slideshow

For the advanced use of keys on topic references, don’t miss the contributions of Gnostyx and Eliot Kimber to the dita-community repository: dita-demo-content-collection

So how are you managing your content linking?

Related posts 😉

Intermezzo: Jang-man’s Transformation Song

Jang Graat at XML Prague 2015

Update: Jang has posted the lyrics of the Transformation song on his techstuff blog.

DITA is here to stay

or better said… to grow with us

It is seldom that I hear news about XML/DITA application in the DACH region (the German-speaking countries), so I was glad to attend the TIM Users Conference in Constance last week. TIM is the XML authoring and content management system developed by Fischer Computertechnik.

The two-day conference was indeed an intensive knowledge exchange between TIM users, the FCT team, and their partners. As I expected, most of the attendees and speakers are using TIM in manufacturing and machine building enterprises, as well as on-site support services. Adobe FrameMaker and Microsoft Word are still broadly used as editors, but it is encouraging to hear about well established German tools joining the DITA world.

Last year I was reading in the DITA community about concerns that the standard was not being supported enough in Germany, but I must say it does not look that bad to me. As long as DITA is on academic curricula and major conference programs, no one can say it’s being discouraged. New and well-known, local CMS providers are offering and promoting DITA modules. When corporations as large as SAP are adopting a standard, the rest of the world has to follow.

As Prof. Wolfgang Ziegler was saying at tekom 2013 in Wiesbaden during his talk about information portals, DITA and XML have been around for 20 years… we don’t even talk about reasons for doing XML anymore – we just do it! (“Macht man einfach!“)

Prof. Sissi Closs is also talking regularly about DITA and single sourcing. In Constance she was presenting DITA Information Architecture as a relatively new and absolutely necessary discipline, functioning as a continuous, agile process of information management.

Dr. Walter Fischer was declaring himself convinced by the advantages DITA brings to the technical communication, especially considering what the Internet of Things triggers in the emerging Industry 4.0 age.

In workshops, presentations, lightning talks, over coffee, football 😉 WM public viewing or on a boat trip on Lake Constance, “TIM-players” from Austria, Switzerland and Germany were in agreement: We need more collaboration with industry partners, when it comes to exchanging content and integrating tools. Partner content providers are hiding behind a copyright clause and would only send a PDF or a protected copy of an illustration, instead of sharing the sources with integrators of their products and documentation.

Machines are talking to machines and to humans, yet humans are still reluctant to comply to standards and to exchange information. XML is everywhere around us anyway, so why do we have to wait and be forced to switch at the last moment, when it’s obvious we need to work with a standard like DITA, to collaborate and manage information?

Darwin is in the DITA name for a reason: it’s an XML standard that’s evolving with us.

Happy DIT’ing!