Is Arbortext pure DITA? Yes. Arbortext is pure DITA, pure XML.
We are always surprised when we get this question because: Arbortext was the software IBM was using when they developed DITA.
Arbortext is part of DITA history
The first mention of public DITA support for Arbortext dates back to a press release by Arbortext on April 20th, 2004, a full month before OASIS announced the formation of the DITA Technical Committee in May that same year. By June of 2005, DITA was first approved as an OASIS standard.
What not as many people know is that IBM had been using Arbortext when they developed DITA in the years leading up to its release as an OASIS standard. The earliest mention of DITA was in March 2001, three years earlier. For it to be a fully-fledged specification and already supported by a tool vendor, means it was in progress for several years leading up.
At the time of the first release of the standard, Arbortext was the only XML authoring and publishing application vendor (original call for participation) to be part of that initial TC (announcement) to approve DITA as an OASIS standard (ballot).
Now, I remember this quite vividly because I presented at an ACM SIGDOC in 2002. My presentation happened to be right before Michael Priestly's. He and IBM had started really promoting DITA to the world and I remember him asking me why we didn't choose DITA at Juniper (this was the subject of my presentation). I remember the question vividly because we had considered it. It hadn't been ready when we'd started our project two years earlier.
Arbortext makes DITA authoring and publishing easy
Arbortext and DITA have a long history. Because of that history, publishing, styling, and authoring DITA is easy. So is managing DITA content. If you've got both, you've got a leg up. No messing around. Solid history and technology is there to support you every way you need.
Installing Arbortext takes minutes, not hours. Arbortext stylesheets for DITA can be created in Styler in a matter of hours, not days. There are benefits to being first.
When you're first, you can perfect the user experience. You can create GUIs for stylesheet development. You can focus on making it easy for authors, stylesheet designers, and publishers.
I've been using Arbortext since 1999. I've seen it develop into something I just can't do without. The last time I installed the DITA OT? I was frustrated at the toolkit nature of it. I'm so glad I have better tools available to me.
And with the new subscription licensing? Arbortext is accessible to everyone and competitive with all the major technical publications software players out there. It's even in reach of independent consultants.
There's a better option for DITA out there and it's name is Arbortext.
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