Working with Lightweight DITA

Lightweight DITA is a simplified, multi-format version of DITA, designed with the following goals:
– Provide an easier point-of-entry to DITA authoring
– Expand the pool of content creators beyond those willing to work with full DITA and/or XML
– Allow organizations to develop, aggregate, and publish structured content in multiple file formats (XML, HTML5, and Markdown)

This presentation will provide an introduction to Lightweight DITA, with a focus on current LwDITA support in authoring, publishing, and content management tools. The presentation will provide an overview of Lightweight DITA, including features, markup, and design decisions. The presentation will demonstrate the capabilities of Lightweight DITA, using the three Lightweight DITA authoring formats in topic collections and maps.

What can the audience expect to learn?

Lightweight DITA is a new offering of the OASIS DITA technical committee. The DITA TC has published a full description of Lightweight DITA in a formal Committee Note document, and is developing version 1.0 of the Lightweight DITA specification. Vendors have begun to provide Lightweight DITA support, and the DITA Open Toolkit supports aggregation of Lightweight DITA topics in maps.

The audience will gain knowledge of the design and capabilities of Lightweight DITA, an understanding of the likely use cases for Lightweight DITA, and knowledge of current and planned tool support for Lightweight DITA.

I also hope to dispel some of the myths around Lightweight DITA:
– Lightweight DITA file formats (particularly Markdown and HTML5) are native; there is no required conversion to XML.
– Lightweight DITA is not meant to compete with, nor replace, full DITA. I plan to address some of the decision points organizations might consider when choosing between full DITA and Lightweight DITA.

Meet the presenter

Alan Houser is a consultant and trainer in the fields of XML technologies, publishing workflows, authoring and publishing tools, and technical communication best practices. Alan is a Fellow and former president of the Society for Technical Communication, a voting member of the OASIS DITA technical committee and Lightweight DITA subcommittee, and an adjunct instructor at Carnegie Mellon University.

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