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Re: DocBook and DITA

On Sat, 2005-04-16 at 06:54 -0400, Nancy P Harrison wrote:

> As someone involved with both DITA and DocBook, and having used both, I 
> don't see incompatibility between them. Rather, I see two XML-based 
> architectures developed independently to meet different objectives. 
> DocBook was developed to meet the needs of technical book publishers, for 
> information designed around a hierarchical and linear model, hence the 
> 'book' part of the name. 
> DITA, on the other hand, was designed around a topic-based, authoring 
> model focused on reuse of information at the topic level.
> So, if you're authoring a book, with the book structure that implies, 
> you're probably going to want to use DocBook; it supports a complete 
> processing tool stream for authoring and publishing books in multiple 
> formats.
> If you're authoring topic-based information centers, especially where you 
> need to reuse and reorganize your information for different audiences or 
> information subsets, DITA is a better fit for that; it was designed for 
> that use.  And if you have a need to extend the information models to meet 
> your specific purposes, DITA is also designed to enable that, while 
> allowing reuse of your processing stream.

Excellent description Nancy. Mind if I steal that for the faq?
  I hope it won't be a regular question though.

The 're-use' aspect (to me) was the prime discriminant. 
I document something (within guidelines), and the DITA environment
is such that that piece of writing can be re-used in many contexts
with little or no re-work. 
  I'd heard that the project was built to make it easier for 
IBM'ers to move towards XML authoring and document cost reductions.
Nancy's point about adopting HTML element naming as a base supports

I've certainly never heard a 'them and us' debate before, DITA 
and Docbook. I'm sure, as in any set of users, you will get
the 'mine's better than yours' arguments.

In this case I think its more than likely a minority view.

regards DaveP.

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