The never-ending debate: DITA or…?


Paris Cité University, July 2023


The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), introduced in 2001 at
IBM and launched to the public in 2005, has set new standards in technical
documentation practices, meeting the needs of both companies and technical
writers. Nonetheless, as the field of technical writing has evolved over the last
two decades, it is essential to assess whether DITA continues to live up to its
reputation as a universal solution in the face of the emergence of other
To get to the bottom of this, we conducted a survey among 34 technical
writers around the world. The aim of our research is to analyze the current
relevance of DITA in modern technical documentation practices, examining its
advantages and limitations, and exploring alternative solutions. The article
looks at important considerations for the adoption of DITA, such as content
strategy, cost analysis, and tool selection. In addition, it addresses the growing
popularity of alternative solutions such as Markdown, which offer simplicity
and ease of implementation.

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