This is an appeal to the DITA community: the experts and the evangelists, and possibly the tools vendors as well.
We’ve done a good job selling DITA: after years of slow growth it’s gaining momentum. As it does so, paradoxically, I’m hearing more and more anti-DITA rhetoric. While some of the rhetoric reflects a lack of understanding or even a hidden agenda, some is worth listening to.
I’m thinking of two things in particular that the DITA community often touts as selling points: authors no longer have to worry about formatting, and their DITA content can readily be used for adaptive content — output customized for the audience.
As good as those sound, I don’t see content authors raving about them. We need to understand why that is, and find a way to address it.
Leave the formatting to us
I’ve proudly touted this in every DITA class I’ve taught: Freed from having to worry about fonts, indentations, and other formatting issues, authors at long last can concentrate on content.
Except that a lot of authors like to worry about formatting. Continue reading