It sounds like you need to read up on the fundamentals of DITA. Would be more informative than what you'll likely get from this list. This is a good place to start ..

    http://dita.xml.org/book/dita-wiki-knowledgebase

Fundamentally, DITA is all about organizing your content in modular chunks called topics. A "topic" may be a generic model called topic or a more specialized (restrictive) model called concept, task, reference (or other). You assemble topics (typically separate files, but you can have single files that contain multiple topics) into hierarchies using a dita map. You can further assemble hierarchies by having maps within maps .. it all depends on how you want to arrange your content.

One option for the top-most map is to use a map type called "bookmap". A bookmap can have special elements that define groups of topics as a chapter, appendix, or part, and you can add frontmatter and backmatter elements that contain elements that become your generated lists (toc, indexlist, etc).

Within a topic you'll have a structure that provides for a title (required), a short description (optional), some metadata (within a prolog element), then a body element that contains the main content of the topic. The markup within the body is very much like HTML, you'll see elements like <p>, <ul>, <li>, and within paragraphs you can have inline markup like <b>, <i>, <ph>, and many others.

Your best bet is to just use the New DITA File menu to create a new topic (of any type) and give it a try. Don't worry about the actual structured applications that are in use at this point, you're getting way ahead of yourself.

The default setup in FM (since FM10) is to have separate apps for each topic type. This more closely mirrors the official DTD structure, but makes it much harder for FM users. Figure out which XML model you want to use, then you can decide how (or if) you want to customize it.

Remember that with DITA (XML in general), you really shouldn't worry about what the documents look like when you're authoring, you should only care what they look like when published. So you should be able to use the default apps and models exactly as they are, and just set up a publishing process that applies the right templates and formatting.

Cheers,

...scott



On 8/13/14 1:52 PM, Theresa de Valence wrote:
On 8/13/2014 11:21 AM, Scott Prentice wrote:

XML for sure, and personally I'd use DITA. DITA for 3 reasons .. 1) the
implementation of DocBook support has problems, and that may cause you
trouble down the line, 2) you'll likely find more options for DITA
support in the techcomm space, and 3) I like DITA better than DocBook :)


OK, conceptually, I understand the value of dividing each part of the document into a single-purpose element and that DITA might be better than the mishmash of DocBook. However, when I look at the DITA applications in structapps.fm, I cannot tell which application is used for plain ordinary text (i.e. what consitutes <para>). How does one use DITA for:
--Book
----Chapter
------Section
--------Body

Is this what the DITA map is?
[And here I thought we were going to have geographical maps in the book 8-) ]

Thanks,
Theresa
P.S. I have ordered XML AND FRAMEMAKER by Kay Ethier but it won't be here for several days


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