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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: DITA for Doc?
Date Thu, 07 Jul 2011 11:42:19 GMT
On Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 6:50 AM, Frank Peters <> wrote:
> Rob,
> Would it be worth considering using DITA for the documentation/help?
> [...]
>> I'd like to argue for the advantages of DITA as a source format here.
>> I can probably find some volunteers to help enabled this.  The
>> Symphony team uses DITA for doc/help, and we've already done the work
>> of converting much of the OOo help to DITA.
> What a coincidence <eg> So the Symphony team will contribute their
> work back to AOOo? I would suggest to talk to localizers to prevent
> flushing their work down the drain when migrating.

Not exactly a coincidence.  IBM invented DITA.  We contributed it to
OASIS.  Today is it used broadly for technical documentation, as the
industry standard.  Take a look at the list here:

> Does the DITA implementation of Symphony support all functions
> that OOo help currently offers, e.g. context-sensitivity,
> extended tips, text transclusion, etc?

DITA has transclusion, yes.  But it is "type-safe".  So you cannot
just suck in any fragment from one place into another place.  It is
needs to be compatible.  So error checking can be done via XML
validation, catching errors more easily and earlier.

Context-sensitivity is more a runtime behavior , something that runs
against the published output.  But you can certainly encode help
context ID's in the DITA source.

We use DITA in Symphony for almost everything: integrated editor help,
tutorials, demo scripts, toolbar/keyboard reference cards and
developer guide.

> When we switched the format of SO/OOo back then, it was a major
> hassle to include all localizations in the migration. Beware of
> any side-effects.


> Frank

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