DITA on your Local Disk

Peter Fournier

Rumour has it that DITA XML requires a Component Content Management System (CCMS) or Content Management System (CMS). Because of this, many freelance technical writers, small groups and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have concluded that DITA is just not practical in their context. They can't afford the purchase, training or maintenance cost of a CMS.

But there is good news: the rumour is not true. Anyone can achieve most of the benefits of DITA XML, especially reuse, and store all of their content in the file system, the file system that comes with their PC. In fact, in most technical writing, you cannot afford to not use DITA.

This is a series of articles exploring the how and why of using DITA XML in the file system. Click on a title below to learn more.

  • Organizing Your Suite
    • The Typical Situation before DITA XML
    • After DITA XML: Early Stages
    • After DITA XML: With CONREFs to "Common"
    • After DITA XML: Keeping up with Releases
  • The "Common" Concept
    • Why a "Common" directory?
    • Rules in "Common": No XREFs or CONREFs within "Common"
    • Samalander RESTRICTED Linking Parameter
  • Metadata, the File System and "Common"
    • What is "Metadata"?
    • Metadata in your File System
    • "Common", Metadata and your File System
  • Coming Soon: The SUITE ROOT Concept
    • Easy Definition of a Release
    • Prevents Linking Across Releases
    • Common Root for all Information Products in a Release
    • SUITE ROOT Parameter
      • LINK FIXER: Allows for finding possible link fixes to any file
      • PACKAGER: Allows for Simple Transferable DITA Packages
  • Coming Soon: DOCUMENT ROOT Concept
    • Easy definition of document
    • Prevents linking across document
    • Common root for all files in a document
    • DOC ROOT parameter
      • LINK FIXER: Allows for finding business illegal links in document
      • HELPSET GENERATION: Allows for easy boundaries in HELPSET
      • PACKAGER: allows for simple transferable package
      • Allows for exception for links to COMMON
  • Coming Soon: Versioning Control Compatibility
    • SVN
    • GIT
    • Mixed SVN and GiT
    • Coordination with SW / Engineering
    • Coordination with Product Lifecycle Management systems
  • Coming Soon: Advanced file system structures
    • Mixed release defined and release independent
    • Release independent
    • Release and version dependent