Authoring Standards-Based Intelligent Content the Easy Way with Lightweight DITA

Carlos Evia, Ph.D. | Associate Professor and Director of Professional and Technical Writing, Virginia Tech
Michael Priestley, Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM) | Enterprise Content Technology Strategist, IBM


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Lightweight DITA (LwDITA) is a proposed standard and methodology for authoring intelligent technical content. LwDITA aims to ease adoption of the open standard Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) in industry and academia by reducing its dependence on robust XML structures and allowing authors to develop content in a variety of markup languages. LwDITA is designed after three primary authoring formats:

  1. a subset of DITA XML elements aimed at an audience of technical communicators (XDITA),
  2. an HTML5 format for web content creators (HDITA), and
  3. a Markdown format for developers and plain-text aficionados (MDITA).
LwDITA is still under development, but some plugins compatible with the DITA Open Toolkit make it functional enough for evaluation and early adoption.


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about the presenter(s)

Carlos Evia, Ph.D.,
Director of Professional and Technical Writing
Associate Professor of Technical Communication
Virginia Tech

Carlos Evia is an associate professor and director of Professional and Technical Writing at Virginia Tech, where he also conducts research for the Centers in Human-Computer Interaction and Innovation in Construction Safety, Health, and Wellbeing. He is also a member of the DITA Technical Committee and co-chair (with Michael Priestley) of the Lightweight DITA subcommittee. He is the lead author of the LwDITA technical specification.

Michael Priestley,
Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM)
Enterprise Content Technology Strategist

Michael Priestley is a product owner and content technology strategist, currently leading the IBM Marketing Taxonomy Guild to revise and align taxonomy initiatives across the marketing ecosystem. He has experience working with and across documentation, support, training, and marketing content as an enterprise content technology strategist. He was one of the original architects and editors of the DITA standard, was named an OASIS Distinguished Contributor in 2017, and is currently co-chairing the Lightweight DITA subcommittee.