Depends on your needs Diane. And I wouldn't worry about FM 'playing' with
either, getting the right standard is more important than the tool and FM is
capable of round-trip to either standard.

I'm assuming you will be storing the content as XML, pulling it from a CMS
(or CCMS as I heard recently) and using the standard to help control the
input (using FM as the editor). If not then the following may still be of
use but not a direct answer.

You can specialise (customise) either to meet your specific needs. In a
nutshell, and I'm not expert but from what I've read etc etc, DocBook looks
very comprehensive and may be overkill for some... DITA has fewer elements
and was created specifically to support topic/task based documentation.

Personally I've been looking at DITA I think DocBook is overkill for our
needs but you'd need to do some more digging into each standard first. Get
your requirements together (from EVERYONE who will be contributing content)
and then assess each standard.

I know that the DITA guys and gals have a working committee in the process
of looking at interoperability but it's early days for that (the premise
being that you should be able to use, for example, a DITA topic within a
DocBook manual).

I'm sure there will be whitepapers out there on this, or at the very least
some well informed opinions from people more knowledgeable in this area than
I, so fire up Google.

This may be of use as well:
(scroll down for some great content!)



-----Original Message-----
From: at
[ at lists.frameusers.
com] On Behalf Of Diane Gaskill
Sent: 08 June 2007 07:00
To: framers at
Subject: Which is better, FM with DocBook or DITA

Hi everyone,

You might remember that a few weeks ago I asked about FM vs AT.  I got some
REALLY good information which is now all in a huge spreadsheet that I will
make available when it is complete.  Many thanks to all of you who provided
all that great information.

Now I have another question, almost as complicated.  Structured FM can work
with both OASIS XML standards: DocBook and DITA.  But which one is the
better standard to use?  Or does it make any difference?  One of our
divisions in Japan has decided on AT with Docbook 4.2 because it is what one
of our OEM customers use.  They want us to do the same.  We would rather use
FM, but are undecided on which standard to use.

According to Adobe,
FM 7.2 supports DocBood 4.1 and xDocBook 4.1.2.  Does anyone know if it
supports later versions such as 4.2?  I found info on the OASIS website that
says the latest verion they support is 4.4, and other information that says
there is a least a verion 5.0 of DocBook. 

Thanks everybody!

Diane Gaskill
Hitachi Data Systems

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