Re: Multi-Platform Environments and DTP

Subject: Re: Multi-Platform Environments and DTP
From: Richard L Hamilton <dick -at- rlhamilton -dot- net>
To: Chantel Brathwaite <brathwaitec -at- castupgrade -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2011 11:22:54 -0700


On May 24, 2011, at 10:23 AM, Chantel Brathwaite wrote:

> Anyway, any advice or suggestions concerning a move to XML would be appreciated. Our organization is on a budget as well, so we can't really afford very expensive solutions ... but reasonably priced ones should work well.
If you're considering a move to XML, you should also consider DocBook. I wrote an article a while back about DocBook and DITA that might be useful. Here is a link:

Even though it's 3 years old, there really haven't been any changes to the two schemas that are significant to that discussion (both have evolved, but not in a "game-changing" way).

The Cliff-notes version of the article is that you should consider DITA if you are using a topic-oriented approach to writing or if you want to customize the schema a lot. Otherwise, DocBook will probably do everything you need.

Regarding cost, you can get either one going with open-source tools, but ultimately,
you will either need to spend some money on tools/consultants to get things set up the way you want to, and/or you will need to devote some significant internal effort to getting up-to-speed. I'm a big advocate of XML for publishing (check out the name of my company:-), but there is a learning curve.

I hope that helps.

Best Regards,
Richard Hamilton
XML Press
XML for Technical Communicators
hamilton -at- xmlpress -dot- net


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