December 30, 2013

The OT is Still Terrrible

I'm once again trying to use DITA to make content. I know that a lot of large companies use DITA to manage large content sets, so I figured that the OT would have grown up a little. It has, but it is still terrible. Just doing a few simple things I have run into functionality that should have been implemented and isn't, a number of inexplicable bugs, and a number of other things that are just harder then they need to be.

For example, why is it that using a topicgroup element means that my child links table breaks? That element is not suppose to have any bearing on the content. Or why do I get random topics that don't generate based on how the files are organized on disk? Why doesn't the repsep element actually do anything when it is supposed to?

I hope that with a little more experience and time, I will come to see that most of the problems are user error. That, however, won't make me any more generous towards the OT or DITA in general. It is clearly a system that was made for complex things and was intended to only be used for big shops with lots of money. Why offer a free toolkit that doesn't really work? It is like one of those annoying freemium sales.

Here is a taste of what you could get if you piney up a bunch of cash....

It would be better to just be up front about the fact that this will cost money to be useful.