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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/203187
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- A style guide for authoring documents using DITA
- Self, Anthony
- The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is an XML-based architecture for writing and delivering information using structured authoring techniques. It is aimed at technical communicators, authors, editors, and creators of textual content. The DITA Technical Committee of OASIS guides the ongoing development of the standard. The approach enabled by DITA represents a major shift in the way in which technical communicators and other writers approach a documentation project. DITA effectively separates the content from the presentation; technical communicators using DITA can no longer use traditional style-based techniques and authoring tools to write manuals and other documents. This is because DITA is based on semantic mark-up and integrated metadata, both of which are new concepts for most technical communicators. DITA may become the accepted approach and de facto standard for documentation projects. If this occurs, best practices for DITA authoring will need to be devised to allow writers to take advantage of the new approach. Early adopters of DITA are in a strong position to find these best practices, either through logical re-application of traditional approaches or by trial and error. The research in this project addresses the question of what constitutes best practice in DITA authoring, using an Action Research methodology, and captures those best practices into a Style Manual for Document Authoring with DITA. The DITA Style Guide is an original synthesis that finds new knowledge through the analysis and development of existing disparate material together with my own practical experience. Rather than a traditional dissertation thesis, this project is a 'PhD by Artefact and Exegesis'. The primary product of the research is an Artefact (The DITA Style Guide: Best Practices for Authors), published as a substantial book. The DITA Style Guide is itself written using DITA, and is accompanied by an Exegesis reflecting on the process of writing the book within the DITA approach. In fact, both the Artefact and the Exegesis have been written entirely within a DITA framework, incorporating the very practices they recommend.The project thus extends the understanding of how DITA can be practically implemented. The DITA Style Guide is designed to serve as an supra-organisational set of guidelines for DITA authors world-wide. In the medium term, it is planned that The DITA Style Guide will be migrated to a Wiki format and donated to the community as an open source project, to become a collaboratively maintained reference work.
- Publication type
- Thesis (PhD)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Higher Education, Lilydale
- Publication year
- Australasian Digital Theses collection
- Copyright © 2011 Anthony Joseph Self.