What are some DITA best practices?

Here are five best practices that can help you effectively implement DITA:

  1. Plan Your Information Architecture:
    • Start by defining a clear information architecture for your content. Determine the types of documents or outputs you need and the relationships between them.
    • Create a DITA map structure that reflects your content hierarchy and organization. Plan how topics will be grouped and nested within maps.
  2. Use Topic-Based Authoring:
    • Embrace topic-based authoring, where each topic focuses on a specific subject, concept, or task. This modularity promotes content reuse and flexibility.
    • Encourage authors to create topics that are concise and self-contained, and avoid creating monolithic topics that cover too much material.
  3. Leverage DITA Specialization:
    • Customize DITA elements and attributes to suit your specific content needs through specialization. This allows you to define your own topic types and metadata.
    • Ensure that your specialization adheres to DITA standards and is well-documented for consistency. Well-documented XML is easier to maintain and implement in a multi-author environment.
  4. Implement Reuse Strategies:
    • Maximize content reuse by identifying and creating reusable components, such as reusable topics or content fragments.
    • Use keyrefs, conkeyrefs, and other DITA reference mechanisms to efficiently reuse content across different documents.
  5. Provide Comprehensive Metadata:
    • Include descriptive metadata in your DITA topics and maps. This metadata should provide context, such as the purpose of the content, target audience, and revision history.
    • Ensure that metadata is consistent and adheres to a standardized schema, making it easier to manage and search for content.