Resources for Beginners

DITA in a nutshell:

An easy tutorial at the level of "what you need to know to get started:" 

A high-level intro:

A short case study/interview:

The new DITA 1.2 Spec has a lot of decent intro material in the Architecture section:

* (direct) 

A very short and high-level intro to the architecture:

An hour-long CAMTASIA video intro adapted from a recording of a live workshop Michael gave on DITA a few years ago - this is the first part, which has a high-level overview of DITA's history and capabilities:


DITA and Eclipse:

* (first half is about TaskModeler, an Eclipse-based DITA map editor - second half is on integrating DITA publishing with Eclipse)

Introduction to the DITA Open Toolkit from Robert Anderson, its lead architect:


DITA Project Starter Kit - A set of sample topics, a map, and ant scripts to get started or experiment with DITA


General resources:
OASIS's community web site for DITA. Has blogs, a Wiki, lists of adopters, vendors, presentations etc.
Robin Cover's list of DITA resources. Includes a lot of presentations, news, etc. in chronological order.
Official OASIS DITA Technical Committee site
DITA 1.1 Specification overview - including links to architectural spec and language spec. The architectural spec in particular is designed to be generally readable, and although it does get very technical, it also includes a lot of introductory and explanatory material.
DITA Open Toolkit site - go through the intro PDF cited above before going here.
The architectural and language specs, plus the Open Toolkit User Guide in an online Help (Eclipse) format wioth index, search, and table of contents.
Listing of 50 DITA Tools, dozens of presentations and tutorials, communities, conferences, mailing lists, and a monthly DITA Newsletter.
The international community with personal online workspace folders, a web-based DITA Storm editor, and an online Open Toolkit. Author, build, and publish your first DITA Topics and DITA Maps without installiing anything.

Tip: Easy command line processing with the DITA Open Toolkit

You don't need to know Ant to convert your DITA documents into a variety of output formats

Level: Introductory should be added as beginner ressource.


Currently, following transtype (means the file format the transformation will be done to) is supported:

docbook, eclipsehelp, xhtml, eclipsecontent, javahelp,

htmlhelp, pdf, troff, wordrtf

For Linux:

The Dita OT Kit should be extracted to /home/YourAccountName/ *here*. Afterwards i.e. the ANT folder should be located at /home/YourAccountName/ant

You still have to grant the proper "All users" accessing rights to the file. Probably you have to be sudo/root for doing this.

Launch the Dita OT Kit via double clicking:


Insert into one line:

java -jar lib/dost.jar /i:/home/YourAccountName/PathToYour/ditamaps-and-topic-subdirectories/hello_world.ditamap /transtype:pdf

The output can be found at:


For MS Windows:

The Dita OT Kit should be extracted to C:\ root drive.

Launch the Dita OT Kit via double clicking:

C:\DITA-OT1.4.1\startcmd.bat (Probably, the OT Kit version number will be different)

Insert into one line:

java -jar lib/dost.jar /i:C:/PathToYour/ditamaps-and-topic-subdirectories/hello_world.ditamap /transtype:pdf

The output can be found at:

C:\DITA-OT1.4.1\out or similar. (Probably, the OT Kit version number will be different.)

For MacOSX:


 Focus Areas: BPEL | DITA | ebXML | IDtrust | OpenDocument | SAML | UBL | UDDI
OASIS sites: OASIS | Cover Pages | | AMQP | CGM Open | eGov | Emergency | IDtrust | LegalXML | Open CSA | OSLC | WS-I