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Darwin Information Typing Architecture
Abbreviation: DITA
Scope: Authoring and organizing topic-oriented information
Topic: Generic Corpus Annotation
Standard body: OASIS
Keywords: XML-based standards, XML, DITA, reuse

The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is an XML-based architecture for designing, writing, managing and publishing topic-oriented, information-typed content in print and on the Web. It was developed by OASIS and is ranked as standard.

DITA is represented in form of a generic building block of a topic-oriented information architecture. The architecture consists of a set of design principles defined in a DTD. The design and processes of these principles can be extended.

DITA basic principles are modularity and reuse. Particularly important and useful is the reuse of content, design and process. Content reuse means that a content can be used several times as a part of different contexts. By using content reuse, all changes of a content made in one context can be automatically applied in all other correlated contexts. Design reuse means that the definition of an existing DITA element can be extended to be used in a special way. The existing process logic can be reused in new specialized processes, in which stylesheet processing is overridden for generating the desired output. All these qualities of reusing allow a faster development of a new DITA architecture adapted to meet the user needs.

The OASIS DITA Technical Committee provides the DITA Open Toolkit (DITA-OT), which is an implementation of the DITA XML Specification. This is a set of Java-based open source tools for processing DITA maps and topics. DITA-OT offers a mechanism for transforming DITA contents into various output formats such HTML, PDF, HTML-Help, Eclipse-Help, JavaHelp, DocBook. Furthermore, the toolkit provides lots of examples using ready-used XSL Transformations.

Other standards in the same topic(s):

Abbreviation: DITA-2010 [not official, only for reference in this website]
Version Number: 1.2
Status: OASIS Standard
Release Date: 2010-12-01
  1. OASIS Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)
Related Standard(s):