Publish High-Quality, Print-Ready DITA in less than a day

Summary: Everyone says, “Publishing DITA is Hard!” But the truth is you can publish DITA content for ePub and Print output with very little work. The promise that vendors (like us) have been giving for 20 years is real today. I published Arbortext 101 in less than one day for less than $1400 all-in and I’m including software, time, and effort. A 100% indie published book. I did it and so can you. Here’s how.

My first book went live this morning: Arbortext 101. It is also the first book about Arbortext that was not published by PTC.* Arbortext is an extremely simple XML authoring and publishing suite of programs. It’s got an editor, a styling tool, a server-based publishing application, and a content management system. It’s 20 years old this year.

In my career, I’ve used nearly all of the XML/SGML tools out there. I like different tools for different purposes. I’m a big fan of the “right tool for the job” as it were. When I approached the project, I decided that I’d distill the 5000+ pages of technical documentation that gets published with the product into a short book that documents the best practices that we’ve developed over the 15 years as users and customers of Arbortext.

A couple of things happened close together…

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Podcast posted: Bob Thomas, Tagsmiths

Bob Thomas, Tagsmiths, discusses DITA, SGML, XML and everything that goes into and surrounds successful projects using this technology.

Recently, we interviewed Bob Thomas.

Bob started in SGML/XML in the mid-to-early 90s at Lucent. He transformed from a technical writer to data modeler, DTD writer, legacy data conversion specialist, and stylesheet developer. He discusses with us a bit of his history, gives some advice for people just getting started, and discusses qualities, qualifications, and profile of folks doing these kinds of tasks. He talks many of the tools he’s used over the years and what it takes to use them.

Most recently, Bob developed the DTDs at Lucent that, the IBM team freely acknowledges were part of the inspiration for DITA. He created the DITA specialization for Avaya and continues to support it today. He’s a technical writer turned programmer; even went back to school to get his CS degree, so he could dig into XSL-FO stylesheet development and DTD design.

Listen to the podcast and hear from a long time part of the the XML/technical publications family.

Tweet Roundup: Arbortext User Meeting August 2010

Todd Nowlan on “Deploying and maintaining a large single-sourcing solution: Now what?” and understanding the complexity of this kind of solution and the benefits you get from moving to XML.

Here’s the tweet roundup for the Arbortext User Meeting for August 2010. The speaker was Todd Nowlan talking about “Deploying and maintaining a large single-sourcing solution: Now what?” As expected, it was a great presentation. As one attendee said his presentation was paced perfectly to allow everyone to understand the complexity of this kind of solution and the benefits you get from moving to XML.

If you want to see the original description, hop on over to the Arbortext PTC/User group August Meeting page to read the abstract. Or, if you missed it, watch the recording.

Also, if you want to hear more from Todd, he we posted an interview with him. He’s also a panelist on the upcoming webinar – “ROI of XML”.

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