Yesterday I joined seven technical writers in a Meetup group for lunch at the Ottawa Bagel Shop. Len Fardella, owner of Peter’s New Jobs told me about this group when he heard that I want to meet more technical writers (technical writing and translation are closely related).
It is a small intimate gathering of people in the technical publication profession, the only one of its kind in the National Capital Region since the Eastern Ontario Chapter of the STC (Society of Technical Communicators) no longer exist.
I took away from the Meetup great contacts and also very useful information. One new concept I was exposed to was DITA, short for Darwin Information Typing Architecture, an XML data model for authoring and publishing. It came out of IBM and now has been adopted by many large tech companies for its technical publication.
According to Wikipedia:
“DITA content is created as small topic items, rather than long books or chapters. A DITA map contains links to topics, organized in the sequence (which may be hierarchical) in which they are intended to appear in finished documents.”
Using DITA can potentially bring huge cost savings when the content is translated into many different languages, which many multinationals do.