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DITA in Drupal

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  • Janet Swisher
    Has anybody on this list been in contact with the Drupal folks who are working on integrating DITA and Drupal? http://groups.drupal.org/node/87999 Seems like
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 24, 2010
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      Has anybody on this list been in contact with the Drupal folks who are
      working on integrating DITA and Drupal?
      http://groups.drupal.org/node/87999

      Seems like this could be a huge win for broadening adoption of DITA to
      include the thousands of websites implemented in Drupal.


      -- Janet
      Visit my blog at: http://www.janetswisher.com
    • Don Day
      ... Thanks for the lead--I was not aware of that posting. The idea comes up periodically, but on vote-based systems like Drupal, great ideas don t always get
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 25, 2010
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        On 8/24/2010 11:55 PM, Janet Swisher wrote:
        Has anybody on this list been in contact with the Drupal folks who are
        working on integrating DITA and Drupal?
        http://groups.drupal.org/node/87999
        
        Seems like this could be a huge win for broadening adoption of DITA to
        include the thousands of websites implemented in Drupal.
        
        
        -- Janet
        Visit my blog at: http://www.janetswisher.com
        
        
        Thanks for the lead--I was not aware of that posting.  The idea comes up periodically, but on vote-based systems like Drupal, great ideas don't always get the popular support because the true believers on those systems are few. I've seen the same ho-hum enthusiasm for DITA plugin proposals on Confluence as well.

        I will contact Kristof and let him know of some alternative approaches for his suggestion. He seems to describe supporting DITA editing through Drupal field elements, but I know that he can do much, much better than that. I'll be soon announcing a webinar here about a DITA collaboration toolkit that I have been preparing to donate to open source. It might be the sort of existing platform that he can integrate very directly.

        --
        "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
        Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
        --T.S. Eliot
      • Lu
        I saw this post too, and though I m intrigued and excited by the idea, I m confused by their proposed approach: Since in 90% of the time we ll be working with
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 25, 2010
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          I saw this post too, and though I'm intrigued and excited by the idea, I'm confused by their proposed approach:

          "Since in 90% of the time we'll be working with web content it's better to store in XHTML and convert to DITA only when needed."

          Not to say that this couldn't work, but IMO, one of the advantages of DITA is the Open Toolkit and the ability to convert DITA XML to other formats. Not to mention reuse. And not to mention that the DITA DTD's are slightly more semantic. Converting from a more semantic to less semantic tagging scheme, while not trivial, is certainly easier than the other way around. You'd have to make a lot of assumptions about the less specific DTD. (I.e. is every ordered list a series of steps?).

          Don: One of the reasons I believe these things have the 'ho-hum enthusiasm' you talk about is that they're coming from a RDBMS perspective (or wiki perspective, or whatever). As a former RDBMS programmer, I know it took me a while to understand the true power of XML. It wasn't till I worked with DITA that I got it. Different technologies, different approaches and different strengths/weaknesses. I think you need to understand and appreciate both sides of the equation. (Also, interesting to note that I would have commented directly on their post had it been a blog with a comment section, but I was much more reluctant to go and 'update' content in their wiki. Different technologies, different approaches, different reactions!)

          I agree Don, I think they can do much better. This is not to say that I have the answers. I know that the solutions will be bigger than just the technology involved (but for me, the techonology really is the fun part). I am looking forward to your webinar Don. Keep us posted.

          Lu Hall

          The postings on this site are my opinions and do not necessarily represent strategies, views or opinions of my employer, clients or colleagues.
        • Steve Bjorg
          Don, Do share your notes. It appears Kristof and I are on similar tracks. - Steve ... Steve G. Bjorg http://mindtouch.com http://twitter.com/bjorg
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 25, 2010
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            Don,

            Do share your notes.  It appears Kristof and I are on similar tracks.

            - Steve

            --------------
            Steve G. Bjorg

            On Aug 25, 2010, at 12:01 AM, Don Day wrote:

             

            On 8/24/2010 11:55 PM, Janet Swisher wrote:

            Has anybody on this list been in contact with the Drupal folks who are
            working on integrating DITA and Drupal?
            http://groups.drupal.org/node/87999
            
            Seems like this could be a huge win for broadening adoption of DITA to
            include the thousands of websites implemented in Drupal.
            
            
            -- Janet
            Visit my blog at: http://www.janetswisher.com
            
            
            Thanks for the lead--I was not aware of that posting.  The idea comes up periodically, but on vote-based systems like Drupal, great ideas don't always get the popular support because the true believers on those systems are few. I've seen the same ho-hum enthusiasm for DITA plugin proposals on Confluence as well.

            I will contact Kristof and let him know of some alternative approaches for his suggestion. He seems to describe supporting DITA editing through Drupal field elements, but I know that he can do much, much better than that. I'll be soon announcing a webinar here about a DITA collaboration toolkit that I have been preparing to donate to open source. It might be the sort of existing platform that he can integrate very directly.

            --
            "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
            Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
            --T.S. Eliot


          • Don Day
            I just finished a web presentation of the DITA Content Collaboration project to the OASIS DITA for the Web Subcommittee, and it went well. So we are off and
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 25, 2010
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              I just finished a web presentation of the DITA Content Collaboration project to the OASIS DITA for the Web Subcommittee, and it went well. So we are off and running with the road show.

              Per your request, Steve, I'll schedule some initial 1 hour Web sessions for your team or anyone on this list who would like to see the demo and help contribute to its direction. Please send an email with the "Subject: DCC demo" and your open times and number of seats that will join you to donday at learningbywrote dot com and I'll return the reservation info. DO NOT REPLY to this message because the reply-to field on these messages is pre-set to blast responses out to the group. I have tentatively penciled in a first attempt this Friday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern for anyone who can make it then. If another time would be better for you, just let me know and I'll schedule other sessions as needed. Also note if you want a private demo for your group. I can take 25 connections at a time.
              --
              Don

              On 8/25/2010 9:55 AM, Steve Bjorg wrote:
              Don,

              Do share your notes.  It appears Kristof and I are on similar tracks.

              - Steve

              --------------
              Steve G. Bjorg

              On Aug 25, 2010, at 12:01 AM, Don Day wrote:

               

              On 8/24/2010 11:55 PM, Janet Swisher wrote:

              Has anybody on this list been in contact with the Drupal folks who are
              working on integrating DITA and Drupal?
              http://groups.drupal.org/node/87999
              
              Seems like this could be a huge win for broadening adoption of DITA to
              include the thousands of websites implemented in Drupal.
              
              
              -- Janet
              Visit my blog at: http://www.janetswisher.com
              
              
              Thanks for the lead--I was not aware of that posting.  The idea comes up periodically, but on vote-based systems like Drupal, great ideas don't always get the popular support because the true believers on those systems are few. I've seen the same ho-hum enthusiasm for DITA plugin proposals on Confluence as well.

              I will contact Kristof and let him know of some alternative approaches for his suggestion. He seems to describe supporting DITA editing through Drupal field elements, but I know that he can do much, much better than that. I'll be soon announcing a webinar here about a DITA collaboration toolkit that I have been preparing to donate to open source. It might be the sort of existing platform that he can integrate very directly.

              --
              "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
              Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
              --T.S. Eliot




              --
              "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
              Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
              --T.S. Eliot
          • Janet Swisher
            ... Don: One of the reasons I believe these things have the ho-hum enthusiasm ... I think you need to understand and appreciate both sides of the equation.
            Message 6 of 7 , Aug 26, 2010
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              On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 9:45 AM, Lu <lu.hall@...> wrote:
               

              I saw this post too, and though I'm intrigued and excited by the idea, I'm confused by their proposed approach:

              "Since in 90% of the time we'll be working with web content it's better to store in XHTML and convert to DITA only when needed."

              Not to say that this couldn't work, but IMO, one of the advantages of DITA is the Open Toolkit and the ability to convert DITA XML to other formats.  

              Don: One of the reasons I believe these things have the 'ho-hum enthusiasm' you talk about is that they're coming from a RDBMS perspective (or wiki perspective, or whatever). 

              I think you need to understand and appreciate both sides of the equation.

              I agree that one reason efforts in this area have not gotten traction up to now is that people come at it either from a DITA perspective or a Drupal perspective, but there hasn't been anybody involved who is truly of both worlds. It seems like the Drupal folks like the idea of DITA, but don't quite grok the approach.

              It would be great if someone could find the shared ground in the middle.

              --Janet

            • kvantomme
              I m the architect of the DITA-Drupal integration project. A lot has happened since we first started working on a concept for this and we ve dropped the XHTML
              Message 7 of 7 , Nov 23, 2010
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                I'm the architect of the DITA-Drupal integration project.

                A lot has happened since we first started working on a concept for this and we've dropped the XHTML as primary content approach. I still think there are niche use cases where it can be interesting to harvest content from html pages through a markup system, but it was too complex as a first approach.

                Instead we've now got a file and folder upload system for getting existing content into Drupal and something we call poorman's DITA, a form with the most important DITA elements that can be used by people that lack DITA training to create valid DITA XML. These forms are Drupal CCK, support version control workflows out of the box and could be used for a DITA wiki-like functionality.

                Another feature we developed is a mindmap to ditamap functionality that uses Graphmind, a Flex Freemind clone (similar UI, same data format) we developed. But you can see those features in action in our screencast at http://pronovix.com/documentation-client-server-poormans-dita-and-improved-export-drupal-dita-documentation-distro-progr

                Yesterday I presented a webinar at the Drupal dojo, about our progress with the project. The presentation was recorded and as soon as it's up, I'll post it in our company blog. We also regularly post our progress there and anything related to DITA appears at http://pronovix.com/category/all/dita





                --- In dita-wikis@yahoogroups.com, Janet Swisher <JMSwisher@...> wrote:
                >
                > On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 9:45 AM, Lu <lu.hall@...> wrote:
                >
                > >
                > >
                > > I saw this post too, and though I'm intrigued and excited by the idea, I'm
                > > confused by their proposed approach:
                > >
                > > "Since in 90% of the time we'll be working with web content it's better to
                > > store in XHTML and convert to DITA only when needed."
                > >
                > > Not to say that this couldn't work, but IMO, one of the advantages of DITA
                > > is the Open Toolkit and the ability to convert DITA XML to other formats.
                > >
                > Don: One of the reasons I believe these things have the 'ho-hum enthusiasm'
                > > you talk about is that they're coming from a RDBMS perspective (or wiki
                > > perspective, or whatever).
                > >
                > I think you need to understand and appreciate both sides of the equation.
                > >
                > > I agree that one reason efforts in this area have not gotten traction up to
                > now is that people come at it either from a DITA perspective or a Drupal
                > perspective, but there hasn't been anybody involved who is truly of both
                > worlds. It seems like the Drupal folks like the idea of DITA, but don't
                > quite grok the approach.
                >
                > It would be great if someone could find the shared ground in the middle.
                >
                > --Janet
                >
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