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Subject: New DITA article from IBM developerWorks: DITA Map Domains


"Design Patterns for Information Architecture with DITA
Map Domains. Defining a Type for Collections of Topics."

Erik Hennum (ehennum@us.ibm.com), Advisory Software Engineer, IBM
Don Day (dond@us.ibm.com), Lead DITA Architect, IBM
John Hunt (john_hunt@us.ibm.com), User Assistance Architect, IBM
Dave A. Schell (dschell@us.ibm.com), Chief Strategist and Tools Lead, IBM

IBM developerWorks
September 17, 2004

The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) provides maps
for assembling topics into deliverables. By specializing the
map elements, you can define a formal information architecture
for your deliverables. This architecture provides guidance to
authors on how to organize topics and lets processes recognize
your organizing principles, resulting in a consistent, clear
experience for your users.

When a Web site or help system lacks definition and structure,
readers can get lost in the content. Information architecture
is the practice of organizing and interrelating content so the
reader remains oriented and gets answers. By defining formal
design patterns for information architecture, content providers
can apply tested architectures to improve the user's experience.
Using DITA map domains, you can express these design patterns
in XML so authors can reuse them consistently for many
collections of content. 

This article explains the design technique for creating a
DITA map domain. Before delving into the technique, however,
you should have a solid understanding of design patterns
and how they apply to information architecture...


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