DITA - Darwin Information Typing Architecture
I just stumbled across DITA, the Darwin Information Typing Architecture. It’s an XML application for software documentation. While I just gave it a very quick read (I’m mainly blogging this so I don’t forget to check on that later) it seems to differ from DocBook in two points:
- Smaller and software-centered. The number of elements seems to be smaller compared to DocBook
- Designed for extension/restriction by users
The second point sounds interesting. DITA mainly consists of a central XML DTD which describes a “topic”. Every information collected in the system has to be hierarchically below a topic. And while DITA provides a basic topic-DTD it’s intended to be extended or restricted by it’s users. E.g. the user would create a new DTD which only contains a subset of the DITA syntax to ensure that information using this topic DTD only contains specific elements. She could also write a new DTD which brings more elements to describe information specific to her application domain.
Now I just wonder why they use DTDs?