Just getting started

I attended the STC conference in Las Vegas last week. It was the first time I ever heard the term DITA. One of the seminars I sat in had a presentation on how using DITA aided in their translation work. At first, I was willing to dismiss DITA as nothing more than an attempt to standardize the methods of writing well. Now, I'm not so sure.

I'm downloading the Priestley Windows Media file, and I'm going to schedule use of the video projector for this Friday to watch it. I'm hoping that with it and the book I'm requesting to be purchased will be a good start to learning what DITA is and how we can use it. As I explained to Kay Ethier yesterday:
My company manufactures electricity meters along with meter reading applications and meter reading servers. From the years of working collaboratively (there was a time when we were not), we have found that information does need to be shared from the hardware areas (how the meter works) to the software areas (how to program the meter so that it does work) to the server area (how to read the meters to obtain the billing information). We have customers worldwide, and our products are designed to support a variety of different languages, such as French, Spanish, Russian, and Simplified Chinese. In addition, each market may have specific requirements that requires a manual handling. As you can tell, this makes managing the flow of information a logistic nightmare. There are two main writers (myself and one other), a person who helps manage the translation process with our translation vendor, and the product specialists in each of our markets.

I have high hopes that DITA will be able to help us manage our information, streamline our translation and specialization needs, and provide for more accurate and readable documentation to our readers.

And that's my goal for DITA this year.
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