So the Lightweight DITA Topics Opened Their Big Mouths and Out Came Talk, Talk, Talk!

For most of its existence as an XML grammar and open standard for structuring content, DITA has been heavily text-oriented and pretty much silent.

The DITA 1.3 technical specification, released in 2015, did not include element types to represent multimedia content natively in DITA tags. As a result, vendors and users had to develop their own solutions with the tag or with HTML5 code snippets.

Lightweight DITA (LwDITA) is a simplified version of DITA with a smaller element type and attribute set, and content mappings to HTML5 and Markdown. Although LwDITA has the primary objective of reducing the number of content components included in DITA, the proposed LwDITA standard introduces new components to represent multimedia content.

The LwDITA multimedia components are organized around the audio (<audio>) and video (<video>) elements, and they can be represented in XML and HTML5 authoring formats. Furthermore, these elements originated in LwDITA but will be included in a DITA 1.3 addendum and in the planned DITA 2.0 standard.

What can the audience expect to learn?

In this session, participants will get a preview of the multimedia elements included in LwDITA and planned for future versions of DITA. The session will feature ideas for tool support and implementation, and recommendations for authoring multimedia topics in XML or HTML5.

The session will also include a behind-the-scenes look and update on the development of the LwDITA standard.

Meet the presenter

Carlos Evia is an associate professor of Communication at Virginia Tech, where he also conducts research for the Center in Human-Computer Interaction. He is a voting member of the DITA Technical Committee and co-chair (with Michael Priestley) of the Lightweight DITA subcommittee. Carlos is lead editor of the Lightweight DITA technical specification and author of the book “Creating Intelligent Content with Lightweight DITA.”

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