RE: XML/DocBook for newbies

Subject: RE: XML/DocBook for newbies
From: "Lisa Hickling" <Lisa -dot- Hickling -at- realsuitesoftware -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 08:37:17 -0400

Bottom-up: First type/classify information into topics --> then your
wrap it into a package
In this sense, DITA allows you to physically classify and write your
information according to topic types (procs, concepts, references). Only
later do you concern yourself with how the information will be presented
(ie grouping topics to form a chapter, which can be easily done through
XSLT). All of this spells enhanced opportunities to reuse topics,
possibly across multiple logical chapters in different document sets.
Using DITA, information becomes more granular and flexible.

Top-down: First define a package --> then squeeze the information into
the packaged mold.
In DocBook's case, you physically encapsulate your information in
chapters, articles, etc in the following order. After you have decided
whether you're writing an <article>..or..wait..maybe it's a
<chapter>...then you proceed to create the meat of the information.
Finally you hope that the structure you started with suffices for your
project. IMHBOMO, Docbook's great if you've got a publishing deal with
SAMS. I find however that it may require more massaging than DITA does
for single sourcing. Docbook has been good to those who use it and is
certainly better supported than DITA.

This is just my rant valued at $.02. For more info/points of view stay
tuned to this or maybe later threads and don't forget to google!

Lisa H.

"The finest language is mostly made up of simple unimposing words."
George Eliot

-----Original Message-----
From: John Cornellier
Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 6:31 AM

Hi, would you please elaborate on what is meant by top-down vs
bottom-up? Or point me to a URL where someone already has?

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