Does anyone use DITA? Is it difficult to work with?

Subject: Does anyone use DITA? Is it difficult to work with?
From: Tim Mantyla <TimMantyla -at- nustep -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 13:09:41 -0500

Just read Tony Self's description of DITA (see link below). It sounds so
horrifically technical I think I'll avoid DITA till the rocket scientists
make a user-friendly HAT out of it. I'm biased with far more experience in
the writing vs. technical side of tech writing, though.

His article:

Other sources:

Cannot access because of my company anti-freeware firewall:

The best one, which still leaves DITA frustratingly opaque to me, is Scott
Abel's article:

Nothing I've read (in 4 or 5 sources so far) about DITA shows any
pictorial examples. Is it so conceptual, like e=mc (squared), that it
can't be shown using diagrams, images, etc.?

A good tech writer should be able put images into the content (a picture
is worth a thousand words) to provide examples, or use metaphors to make
the concept visual or in some other way easier to understand.

Could someone on the list do this?

How about some example pages of content created by DITA, vs. content not
created by DITA--and the advantages of one over the other? Or will that
still be opaque because (it sounds like) DITA is a set of tools for
creating output and does not display in the output?

Tim Mantyla

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