Week 9: Lecture

  • Beginning of Class Writing
    • Click on the heading of this blog post title above–“Week 9: Lecture,” scroll down to the comment area, and write at least 250 words in response to this week’s readings. You can summarize the readings, you can relate the readings to your own experience or something else you have read or learned about, etc. Any writing of 250 words or more that are related to the readings are fair game for this weekly assignment at the beginning of class.
    • Post your comment after 20 minutes even if you don’t reach the 250 word minimum threshold.
    • Why we are doing this: It helps you organize your thoughts before discussion and it gives you regular writing practice.
  • Discuss this week’s readings.
  • Continue with GitHub and HTML.
    • See here for an example of what we’re aiming for in this exercise.
    • Create account at github.com–make sure you think hard about your username–it should be professional and reflect positively on you.
    • Follow these directions to create web space for HTML pages on GitHub Pages.
  • Review homework and readings for next week.

8 thoughts on “Week 9: Lecture”

  1. TO: Prof. Ellis

    FROM: Khemraj Persaud

    DATE: 4/3/23

    SUBJECT: Weekly Writing Assignment

    Unfortunately, I was unable to complete the readings for this week’s class. So, for this week’s writing assignment, I am going to write about my experience helping one of my fellow classmates with getting their Github.io site up. One of my classmates was having difficulty navigating the Github site and asked me to assist him. In order to do this, I wanted to make sure that I knew the ins and outs of the site before I attempted to assist him, so I messed around with the layout of the site. Once I became a bit more familiar with how the site worked (and after thinking about what we learned in class) we met up in the library and I talked him through how the site worked. For the sake of time, I did most of the heavy lifting in terms of entering the actual coding and images. But, I made sure that he was following along and that I explained each step I was taking before I did it, that way he could have a frame of reference when he went back to review. I explained that it is important to pay attention to every little detail because if there is even one mistake, it could derail the entire site, causing it not to load properly. Once we finished setting up the site with his pictures, I went over the wireframe picture we had to submit. He originally thought that the wireframe and sitemaps were the same thing, and I explained to him that the wireframe is meant to give us a visualization of the website to understand the actual layout on the screen. Overall, it was quite fun to work through the steps with him and to know that I could help him understand what we are trying to learn in this class.

  2. In DITA: An XML-based Technical Documentation Authoring and Publishing Architecture Michael Priestly, Gretchen Hargis, and Susan Carpenter discuss how Darwin information typing architecture (DITA) affects how we write, how we design, and how we process technical documentation. They also discuss the benefits of the DITA approach. DITA provides technical communicators with an XML-based architecture that allows them to create highly specialized structures and content, yet still retain interchangeability. There are three components of DITA: content reuse, design reuse and process reuse. Chunking information enables us to reuse content without comprising the source of the information. Specialization lets us describe content in both general and specific terms. Specialization also to reuse processes for different information.


    The wiki page about Darwin information typing architecture is useful in understanding Darwin’s information typing theory. It defines Darwin information typing architecture and where the name derived from. It also discusses the features and limitation of Darwin information typing architecture as well as how to create and publish content in DITA. Overall, in was interesting to learn about Darwin information typing architecture. When I initially read DITA: An XML-based Technical Documentation Authoring and Publishing Architecture I questioned Darwin’s involvement in technical communication. I have always associated Darwin with science.


    In An intelligent content strategy for the enterprise Ann Rockely and Joe Gollner discuss intelligent content. Intelligent content is content that is structurally rich and semantically categorized. Intelligent content is easily discoverable due to the fact it is structurally rich and semantically organized. Companies use intelligent content to optimize access and retrieval. Rockley and Gollner use a case study on a large global telecommunication company to illustrate how tech companies use intelligent content.

  3. TO: Prof. Ellis 

    FROM: Khaled Akam 

    DATE: April 3, 2023 

    SUBJECT: Specification 

    Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is a markup language that generates the best writing and publishing content for technical information. When using DITA, you get a breakdown of topics offered and a structure to shape your content. DITA supplies Metadata elements and a specialization to add new ones. DITA allows you to go through different breakdowns for your content, to make a fit of what you want to give for your configuration. As we understand DITA, we identify the feasibility of this technology. Can this technology be used for technical documentation? There are problems and solutions for various aspects of this markup technology, such as creating specializations. DITA focuses on the reuse side of things; content, design, and processes. As a technical communicator we benefit from examining DITA even if we do not utilize this technology. 

    The best strategy we face for our content is a multitude of sustainable. The first step is to structure highly efficient and effective positioning for content. Content should be easily accessible to discover what any audience member wants. With this comes re-usability to recreate or move your content. The next step for sustainability is re-configuring the context to make it more powerful. My experience creating HTML pages starts off simple especially when utilizing the GitHub website. When understanding tags and how to implement them it all comes down to knowing when you make a mistake because even one small thing will negate everything you have done. The content that you create gives you leeway to pursue changes to make your own design. 

  4. To:                         Professor Ellis

    From:                   Sandy Fougeres

    Date:                    4/3/23

    Subject:               Weekly Readings


    In this week’s readings, there was a discussion about XML (Extensible Markup Language) and DITA (The Darwin Information Typing Architecture), and how we use them to structure information. In the article, DITA: An XML-based Technical Documentation Authoring and Publishing Architecture, by Michael Priestley et al., they spoke about the importance of DITA being used with XML as it makes it easier to reuse, retrieve, and structure information. The article describes the limitations of XML on its on and when combined with DITA how it is a more efficient way of documenting and for information retrieval. In the second reading, the article, An Intelligent Content Strategy for the Enterprise, by Ann Rockley et al., they spoke about content strategies for making information easy to reuse and retrieve. The concept they spoke of was intelligent content; that when coming up with content strategies one of the challenges is sustainability, and the way to work on information is identifying and using intelligent content.

    Intelligent content is making information in a document easily retrievable, open, and reusable. The article then describes intelligent content in detail where it is structurally rich (the structure of the document allows for easy dissemination through different forms of media); semantically categorized allowing for the customized tags for organizing the information in the documents; and by having both a structurally rich and semantically categorized document it makes it easier to discover needed information. I found both articles informative as I just worked on HTML in my class, it can be helpful to know more about XML and the ways to retrieve information in an easier way for the future. 

  5. The first reading explains information about technical documentation. The main type of category that is talked about throughout this article is The Darwin Information Typing Architecture. The Darwin Information Typing Architecture is a technical documentation that theorizes why DITA affects how individuals write, sign, and process technical documentation. A benefit that was talked about was XMI benefits. This can be reusable in any medium platform. 

    The second reading explained about unintelligent content. Unintelligent content is the limitation of structuring content correct. On the other hand, intelligent content is information that is structurally rich and semantically categorized. This makes content easily discoverable, reusable, reconfigurable, and adaptable. The benefits of intelligent content is for users to find information more easily, deliver it, customized it, and personalize it. 

    The third reading corresponds with the first reading because it talks about the Darwin Information Typing Architecture.

  6. DITA stands for The Darwin Information Typing Architecture. The article discusses how this helps us in how we write, how we design, and how we process technical documentation. It has a considerable amount of benefits including a way to deliver traditional documentation strategies cannot. 

    Markup Language: set of start and end tags you can use to “mark up” text with additional information about your content. It can be used for, displaying text, processing the text and searching the text for specific information. 

    XML = standard for defining markup languages. 

    To fix the content, information should be arranged in a linear function, to have chunks of information that is on a specific subject, and categorize topics by type of information. 

    Process reusing consists of specialized processes that can reuse general processes and define only the differences. 

    The three components, not requiring custom tools and scripts, create custom tools, and get the benefit of improvements/fixes. “Each of these three components of the DITA solution focuses on a different aspect of reuse: content, design, and processes. 

    The article by Rockley and Gollner,mentions how intelligent content enables for conversation about a sustainable enterprise content strategy. Intelligent Content is beneficial because it will accommodate the changes today and in the future. This article helps reflect on how to continuously improve the information products being produced. Content models help format the information that you will need and the information required. Reuse strategy is determining what types of content will be reused. XML contributes to making your content intelligent and structured. 

    Wikipedia discusses DITA including five specialized topic types: task, concept, reference, glossary entry and troubleshooting. A DITA map is essentially having the topics and then executing it into a publication.

  7. DITA is an XML DTD; Document Type Definition that expresses many different design principles. The architecture is the defining part of the technical information.

    Darwin Information Typing Architecture

    • Originally developed for technical documentation but also adopted for business documents and pharmaceutical materials
    • DITA provides technical communicators with an XML based architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering technical information
    • DITA specification defines both:

    i) a set of document types

    ii) a set of mechanisms for combining and extending document types using a process called specialization

    Specialization provides details of the mechanisms DITA provides for defining and extending DITA document types. Specialization allows the creation of very specific, targeted document type definitions.

    DITA topics are XML confirming:

    • Customization-DITA customization can be used to override the default output without affecting portability or interchange.
    • Generalization process can preserve information to allow “round tripping” between specialized and unspecialized forms of the same content

    XML- Extensible Markup Language. The primary role of XML is to define data. XML is being used on the web, in rich media and for content. XML helps make content intelligent. Originally XML authors worked with codes to tag the content. XML can be hidden, providing a Word-like interface.

    Design goals of XML.

    i) XML shall be straight forwardly usable over the internet.

    ii) XML promises capabilities to separate form from content. The design of XML shall be formal and concise.

    iii) XML shall be compatible with SGML. SGML is Standard Generalized Markup Language. XML is a subset of SGML. The primary role of XML is to define data.

    iv) XML is being used on the web, in rich media and for content. XML helps make content intelligent.

    v) XML documents should be human-legible and reasonably clear.

    Characterize topics by types of information

    Task contains steps in how to do something

    Concept a concept is an extended definition of a major abstraction such as a process or a function

    Reference is factual in nature. Often prescribed by conventions

    Domains a set of elements that support a specific subject are




  8. To: Prof Ellis

    From: Bria Glenn

    Subject: Week 9 Lecture

    Date: April 3, 2023


    Markup language is very interesting when relating it to information architecture. In the article DITA: An XML-based Technical Documentation Authoring and Publishing Architecure by Michael Priestley, Gretchen Hargis, and Susan Carpenter, it speaks about this form of language used for programming and allows for specific functions to happen. Markup language is a set of start and end tags that can be used to mark up a text. In technical writing, I am sure this is something most people come to learn about because of its use when looking over other people’s work before publishing, for example. Another interesting form of markup is when we think about in proofreading and revising. In this sense the term is used in a similar way, even when it comes down to the symbols used to markup a text. In English, markup symbols may be different from markup tags that are used in technical writing, but they both serve the same purposes; pointing out something that may need to be fixed in a document or text. Even when we think about stylesheets, which are typically used to layout specific changes to be made to a certain document.

    Terms such as DITA, XML, etc. are terms used in technical writing and are also considered intelligent content. There is a strategy called “intelligent content strategy” which is infiltrating companies more specifically, tech companies due to the innovation that allows for people to efficiently produce content. In the article An Intelligent Content Strategy for the Enterprise by Ann Rockley and Joe Gollner, the idea of intelligent content being the next best thing because of its many advantages allows show how advanced technology continues to becomes. Also, the use of Metadata is an interesting component because it allows your work to live anywhere in a sense. I would think of it similar to a cloud. This allows you to do many other things with the work you already created.


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