DITA, XDocs, and Online Collaboration with the Open Source Community

For the past year, I've been pursuing two parallel avenues of investigation, with the goal
of achieving a merger of the two:

  • DITA-structured documents for authoring efficiency and reuse
  • Online collaboration systems for such documents
On the DITA side of things, I've converted the JavaSE installation pages to DITA documents and have experimented with the DITA Open ToolKit (OT) for the conversion and for production. I've also installed the XDocs CMS system to use for a version-controlled repository and for a more robust production solution. Here is the blog entry that records my experiences and overall evaluation: XDocs: One Cool CMS.

Those tasks have taken up the majority of my time (in addition to my day job), so on the collaboration side of things, I've been keeping a watchful eye on technologies and thinking about how they can be used. Here are the solutions I've been contemplating, in their probable order of likelihood:
  • XMetaL's online editing solution for DITA (XMAX), in conjunction with a CMS like XDocs

  • The XDocs CMS system, in conjunction with a standard XML editor

  • The NetBeans DocBook module, enhanced to encompass DITA, with an enhancement to NetBeans so it can access a CMS as a version-control repository like CVS or Subversion.

  • An online editor like FCKeditor, which is said to be undergoing enhancement for structured docs, in conjunction with an online repository of some kind.

The next posts in this series describe the reasons and rationale behind the two halves of the equation.

Next

Comments:

So it sounds like DITA is perfect for open source, community docs collaboration.

So are there any open source tools?

Distribute, open source communities rely on readily availble, platform agnostic, tools. Oh, and they have to be free.

Are there any?

Posted by Richard Friedman on September 13, 2007 at 12:07 PM PDT #

Richard Friedman wrote:
>
> Are there any open source tools?
>
There are 20 or more open source Content Management Systems. (Somewhere, I have a list of seven that I particularly want to investigate.) And the processing tool (the Open Toolkit) is open source.

The real issue is editing. No open source editors really rise to the level of commercial editors, these days. (And since it's a schema-controlled format, hand editing, while possible, is not advised.)

Posted by Eric Armstrong on March 09, 2008 at 05:48 PM PDT #

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