Thoughts about structured authoring in DITA

The CMS 2006 conference in April in San Francisco showed the energy and enthusiasm that DITA is helping to build for structured content and topic-based authoring, as well as support for content management. We had about 325 people at the conference with about 100 or so attending the DITA track each hour.

We're now planning for DITA Europe the first week in November in Frankfurt. I'd like to hear from interested people in Europe about taking part. We should have a call for papers on the conference website soon.

I'm pleased with the reception of the new DITA User Guide, now being shipped. It will be listed on Amazon soon but is now available on the Comtech web site at

I am concerned however that all the enthusiasm is focused on technology rather than the important need for structure in technical information design. It's easy to use XML authoring and DITA markup and still create poorly organized topics that are of little use to customers.

I wonder how we continue to focus effectively on the need for structure.

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