Re: DITA: Fifteen(+) years old #history

Kristen James Eberlein

Thanks for responding, Rudolfo.

I'm interested in trying to tease out how well DITA has answered the business requirements it was designed to address (some of which I think we take for granted in 2019) and what new things have emerged over the past 15 years.

Requirement DITA designed to address

I think of the following; can others add to the list?

  • Multichannel publishing
  • Effective reuse
  • Efficient, lower-cost translation
  • Ease of sharing source content with business partners
  • Expense of developing and maintaining proprietary XML grammars and the tools to work with them

Developments NOT on peoples mind 15-20 years ago

I can think of the following; can others add to the list?

  • Rise of Git and DevOps
  • Trend towards continuous integration
  • Development new career roles: Information architect, Metadata specialist

How well has DITA lived up to its promises?

Fairly well, I think. I do lack data and a method to quantify it. (Any ideas, here?)

One thing that I think have been extremely successful is growth of a very rich environment of DITA tools:

  • Editors
  • CCMS
  • Quality analysis and control applications
  • PDF rendering engines
  • Delivery platforms
  • Translation utilities

Yes, I do wish that there were more alternatives to DITA-OT -- and that more people contributed to DITA-OT! Folks might want to take a look at the video of my 2016 presentation at DITA-OT Day:


Hoping to hear from others in our community ...


Kristen James Eberlein
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
Principal consultant, Eberlein Consulting
+1 919 622-1501; kriseberlein (skype)

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