Book DITA 101

Just because DITA authoring tools are coming onto the market at the speed of a runaway train, does not necessarily mean that A) companies understand what it is they are actually using, or B) they do not want to understand it.

And it is this segment of the market that the latest publication from Toronto-based content management consultancy the Rockley Group (TRG) is targeting with DITA 101: Fundamentals of DITA for Authors and Managers.

While the authors (Anne Rockley, Steve Manning and Charles Cooper) never claim that the 148-page overview of DITA will make an expert out of you, they do say that it will help answer the $40 million question: Is DITA for you or your company?

Just to put it in perspective: DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is an OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) standard that breaks content into small bundles of information that can be used and re-used at will through company- or group- specific information.

An XML-based architecture, it was introduced in 2001. In 2005, it was ratified as an OASIS (news, site) standard and is becoming increasingly popular in the creation of all kinds of documents.

Initial reviews of the book appear to be good, but then they would because they appear on the publisher’s website.

But then that shouldn’t put potential readers off. A quick search across the Web shows just how confusing the subject can be, and anything that can untangle the mess of ‘explanations’ out there should be worth a look.

Download or buy it from publisher on, or flip through a free chapter online before you actually buy.