A DITA & DITA Open Toolkit Reading List

I was in the process of reorganizing my computer science and technical writing shelf today during lunch when I began to notice a pattern: I have quite a few books related to DITA and the underlying technologies of the DITA Open Toolkit. Well, this isn’t by coincidence. It’s a big part of my job and something I’m really interested in. But it occurred to me just how much time I’ve spent pouring through these texts of structured authoring and XML-based technology—all in hopes of grokking this for my job.

Some Light Reading on DITA

So, in no particular order, here’s a list of some of my books on the subject:

DITA

XML

A couple of books on Ant & JavaScript that I haven’t even gotten to yet:

And, some wider shots of my (sort of) organized bookshelves:

Non-Fiction Bookshelves

Office Shelves

  1. I have the first edition. I’d recommend getting the later edition. []

Looking Ahead into 2012

I tend to write this sort of post every year. It’s not really a set of resolutions, just goals. That is, I rarely say to myself "I will do this from now on." but rather "This is what I’d like to try to accomplish this year." Small difference, but probably worth noting.

So, in no particular order (though numbered anyway):

  1. Blog more about the kids

    They’re getting older and doing more. As Angela noted in her remark on Facebook about getting a minivan, it’s just a matter of time until we’re taking them to soccer practice.

  2. Become more fluent in XML development

    I can still recall the day Jason Johnson explained to me about what XML was. It seemed so simple then… Now I’m writing XSL transforms as part of my job and concerned with information architecture. It’s been absolutely fascinating and a way to actually do some programming with a real goal1.

  3. Visit more family & friends

    Despite every means of communication that mankind has ever conceived, we (our household, that is) still somehow remain out-of-touch with so many of our relatives. As our kids are getting older2 we are at a point where we can just do it the old-fashioned way and visit (no letter writing campaign just yet, though). We certainly have some older members in the family and it would be a shame to someday have to explain to the kids why they never met.

  4. Create more

    Photography, videos, writing, drawing, and so on. Our daughter has become very interested in art and has shown a real creative streak. I remember when I used to just draw,write a short story, or make up a tune for fun and I need to get back there somehow. Will I end up with dozens of unfinished bits? Most assuredly. However, the point to this is enjoying making something; not necessarily the final product.

  5. Eat healthier

    Okay, so I have to admit that this is starting to sound like a classic New Year’s resolution. Surely, he’ll mention going to the gym more next, right? Of course, losing weight may be an added benefit, but I’m really just interested in trying out new foods. I’m married to a real foodie and it’s really something she loves that I’d like to take a bigger interest in. Certainly, I’d like to add in things like fruits & vegetables that have never really been a staple of my diet3. We’ve always tried out best to cook a lot at home and the kids are starting to even get involved. So, as much as it sounds like a simple, shallow New Year’s resolution, it’s a much a part of the previous goal as it is just trying to be healthy.

  6. Exercise

    Yes, yes. This guy just doesn’t want to admit he’s make resolutions. But Angela really inspired me this past year by setting out some goals, running some big races, and doing really well. So, I’ve already signed up for a big half-marathon this year and I’ll try to run at least a short race every month.

So, it all looks a lot like most of my goals for previous years. That doesn’t mean that I never accomplished those goals; just that they were good ones and worth moving the goal line to get more out of them.

  1. Aside from just learning, which is a good-enough goal; just one that takes a lot more dedication than I’m usually willing to throw at it. []
  2. And, oh yeah, that insanely nice minivan. []
  3. I recently tried Brussels sprouts for the first time in my life and, man, are they good! []