Making the case for teaching (and selling) Lightweight DITA

Lightweight DITA (LwDITA), the simplified version of the DITA standard, is almost ready for release as an alternative for structuring content. LwDITA includes a reduced set of tags while keeping most of the reuse and filtering capabilities of full DITA XML. LwDITA also allows content creators to author and combine topics in XML, HTML5, and Markdown.

What does this mean for current trainers, instructors, and users of DITA? Should we all burn our DITA books and convert all topics to LwDITA? What does this mean for potential DITA adopters? Should they ignore the classic standard and just embrace its simplified version?

I will answer all these questions (and more) in this session. I will also take attendees on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Lightweight DITA subcommittee as we work on the technical specification. This presentation will include an introduction, update, and examples of LwDITA in action. However, the core takeaway of this session will be in strategies and recommendations for considering the adoption of LwDITA in a trainer’s repertoire, a consultant’s toolbox, or a user’s set of skills.

There’s also the possibility of free pizza…

What can the audience expect to learn?

As the LwDITA proposal becomes its own standard, and its spec approaches a release date, users from different levels (including practitioners, consultants, trainers, and teachers) still don’t know what to make of this proposed standard. Some still think that LwDITA is meant as a DITA XML replacement, and others see it just as a Markdown or HTML5 alternative.

In this session, I will show examples, usage cases and stories, and tutorials that include the most recent updates to the LwDITA proposed standard.

Meet the presenter

Carlos Evia is an associate professor and director of Professional and Technical Writing at Virginia Tech, where he also conducts research for the Centers in Human-Computer Interaction and Occupational Safety and Health. He is also a member of the DITA Technical Committee and co-chair (with Michael Priestley) of the Lightweight DITA subcommittee. He is the lead author of the LwDITA technical specification.



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