Upcoming Holiday Potluck: WritetheDocs PDX Joins Us!

Our annual Holiday Potluck and final meeting of the year is upcoming on December 3rd. This year we’re featuring a special presentation aimed at new and prospective DITA users, which will also be a joint gathering with members of the WritetheDocs PDX Meetup Group. (We Jivers had a great time attending the WritetheDocs conference this past year, but DITA was not talked about in the presentations. That made us wonder why, and this event is one of the results.)

If you’ve been waiting to show up because you feel like you don’t know where to start learning about DITA, this would be a great time to dip your toes in the water. If you’re a grizzled veteran of DITA and/or PDX DITA, we want to see you too! We’d love to hear about your year in DITA and talk about what you’re doing next.

After last year’s potluck we feel confident in promising a delicious holiday feast. (Please bring a dish! We’re two blocks from Whole Foods and the carts, if you need inspiration.). Then Jive’s Melanie Jennings and Leona Campbell will present a brief introduction to writing in DITA XML, followed by Q&A and general conversation. As usual, we’ll provide beer, questionable witticisms, and stunning views of the Portland skyline.

Looking forward to seeing you!


July 23rd Meeting: Keyrefs with Roger Hadley

At our upcoming meeting on July 23rd, Roger Hadley of Grass Valley Software will explain keyrefs in DITA 1.2. You’ll learn what they are, how to use them (with real-world examples), and a few publishing pitfalls to avoid. All DITA experience levels welcome!

As usual, we’ll also do a little meet-and-greet, and enjoy a light meal together. We hope to see you.

Details: Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Jive Software, 915 SW Stark, Portland

Some Resources for Getting Started with DITA

I’ll be giving a five-minute lightning talk about DITA tomorrow at the Write the Docs meetup at Puppet Labs. Here are some resources for anyone considering using DITA:

Please post your own resources in the comments here so we can all benefit. Looking forward to the meetup tomorrow!

Report on March 12th Meeting

Last night’s meeting was almost entirely devoted to discussing conditional filtering, with a few digressions into conrefs, content management systems, and the local taco carts. Melanie Jennings shared her detailed planning process for tagging and filtering a set of DITA files that will currently support six different filtered outputs for different audiences and platforms, but in the future may have to support many more. We also heard about how other PDX DITA members are using conditional filtering in different ways to get the most out of their files, and discussed some of the challenges of ditamap inheritance, enforcing consistent tagging, and, especially, educating all the writers in a group who need to understand not only the tagging model but how and to whom the final output will be delivered.

We were excited to have Toni Mantych join us for the first time. Toni teaches DITA over at Portland State and is planning to teach a DITA workshop in May through the local STC chapter. Stay tuned for more news about that workshop in a future post.

If you’d like to attend the next meeting in June, please check back here for the date or contact us to be added to the email list for reminders.

Filtering Extravaganza!

For our next PDX DITA meeting, we are inviting attendees to bring in and show their filtering madness. Fun, right? If you don’t know what filtering is, this would be a perfect opportunity to pick the brains of local practitioners to see what and how we’re doing with filters.

We’d like to know:

  • How many topics do you have?
  • How many help sets do you deliver from those topics?
  • How many filter attributes do you use for those help sets?
  • What kinds of validation do you use to prevent logic failures?
  • What would you like to do with filters that you can’t do today? Examples encouraged.

As usual, we’ll be meeting at the lovely downtown offices of Jive Software in Portland. We are looking forward to meeting you and talking shop about DITA!

Opportunity at Jive Software for a Writer with Java/JS Skills

Hi DITA enthusiasts! We have an opportunity working on developer onboarding docs here at Jive Software (the current meeting place of the PDX DITA group): you could be based out of Portland or Palo Alto, reporting to our documentation team but collaborating heavily with our platform API team. If you’re interested, you’re welcome to apply directly via JobVite.

Senior Documentation Engineer at Jive

Anyone who has been to a meeting has probably already raved about our beer, snacks, and view of Powell’s Books! We’re also very modest and charming.

The work for this position will not primarily use DITA, but the rest of the Docs team authors in DITA and you’d almost certainly get the opportunity to use those skills.

A Very DITA Holiday Celebration

Reminding all DITA enthusiasts that PDX DITA’s annual potluck and Year in DITA roundup discussion will take place at Jive Software next Wednesday, December 11th, from 6:30 to 8:00. Make something to share, run by the carts on your way in, or just have a beer and some pretzels on Jive.

We’re hoping to discuss breaking events in DITA world, talk about what we learned at LavaCon, and brag about our conversion to Oxygen Webhelp. What’s up in your world?

Meet the PDX DITA Folks at LavaCon!

The founders of PDX DITA will be presenting at LavaCon! Come meet us in meatspace!

In our presentation, “Socializing Content Creation,” we’ll talk about the ways we  collaborate on technical content using all the latest social tools in our roles as technical authors at Jive Software. But more importantly, we’ll talk about how you can use social tools to get your work done. Here are the details:

“Socializing Content Creation”

Tuesday, October 22nd, 1:45-2:45

Search and Social Track

Portland Hilton and Executive Tower
921 Southwest 6th Avenue
Portland, OR 97204



Please Welcome Guest Blogger Mark Giffin!

At last week’s PDX DITA meetup, we were able to Skype in LA area DITA consultant Mark Giffin as an honorary Portlander. (He’s even planning on growing some interesting facial hair for future Portlandian meetups.) There were some great informative discussions and on learning that he’s attending the CIDM Content Management Strategies/DITA North America conference this week, we were able to sign him up to report in from DITA Central. We’re looking forward to hearing about what you’re learning, Mark!

DITA-Related Job at Intel

This just in from Benjamin (@WealthOfIdeas). Thank you, Benjamin!


XML/DITA Expert Technical Writer – 708117


The XML/DITA Expert Technical Writer will help conceive, design, and implement documentation for multiple outputs using a single source XML based system. This person will partner with Documentation toolsmiths, writers, developers, and third party vendors to establish an information architecture documentation and implement it in the Mobile Communications Group. This includes converting existing content to a DITA-compliant system using SDL Trisoft, training users on XMetaL, managing meta data and document maps, and working with a vendor to deliver DITA compliant content to a dynamic web based delivery system.


Candidates should possess a Bachelor’s degree in English, Technical Writing, Technical Communications, and Engineering.

Minimum Requirements:
5+ years experience in technical writing, 1+ years managing content for a product, 1+ years of experience working in an XML environment.
– Good understanding of information architecture/information modeling concepts and procedures and familiarity with BUs content – with ability to undertake a BU content audit to define BU content models.
– Good understanding of graphics file types and their appropriate uses.
= Good understanding of Technical Writing principals, including planning, project management, editing and publishing.

Preferred Requirements:
The XML/DITA Expert Technical Writer is an essential role for every program.
The ideal candidate should have the following skills:
Solid understanding of XML, Schemas, and DTDs (creating and editing)
Solid understanding of topic-based authoring and information mapping concepts as they relate to DITA.
Solid understanding of the DITA standard, with knowledge of how the DITA DTDs should be customized and deployed (i.e., specializations, constraints, DITA-OT plug-in creation).
Solid understanding of the DITA Open Toolkit with knowledge of how to customize it (i.e., DITA-OT plug-in creation) to enable new transformation types.
Solid understanding of XPath and XSL (both XSLT and XSL-FO)
Ability to identify and implement corporate trademarking and branding requirements in DITA-OT outputs (PDF, HTML, CHM) using XSL.
Familiarity with ANT build file creation and modification.
Familiarity with XML validators (e.g., Xerces) and XSL processors (e.g., Xalan, Saxon).
Familiarity with XML authoring tools (such as XMetaL and FrameMaker) and ability to customize configuration files (i.e., CSS, CTM and other XMetaL configuration files; read/write rules, structapps files, templates, EDDs and other FrameMaker configuration files)
Familiarity with SDL Trisoft, including file repository structure and access control, Publication Manager and Condition Manager clients, and the Web Client.

Apply at http://www.intel.com