Track: Structured Authoring

Doug Gorman
Simply XML

Do you need your Word authors writing in structured XML? Old dogs can learn new tricks! This session provides a fun but helpful take on a serious topic.

Here are some of Doug Gorman’s big ideas:

  • Assess the situation and know what to look for: Do you have little problems or big problems? You can’t move forward until you know the basic information.
  • Leashes—and the importance of structured content.
  • It’s a dog’s world: Set your authors up for success by using their familiar environment.
  • Dachshunds vs. Great Danes: Know your users. Evaluate the different options and decide which is the best fit for your team.
  • Start with one trick—and get value immediately.
  • Working with a dog whisperer: Learn from the experience of those who have traveled this path before.
  • Give a dog a bone: Keeping your team motivated and other key tips.
George Bina
Syncro Soft

Not too long ago, XML-born content was not present in a mobile-friendly form. Now, many of the XML frameworks like DocBook, DITA and TEI provide output formats tuned for mobile devices. Many people find XML authoring difficult on computers, let alone mobile devices. However, due to the constantly increasing number of mobile devices, there is clearly a need for direct access to authoring XML content on these devices.

This presentation will explore the options for providing XML authoring on mobile devices and describe George Bina’s current work and the technology choices he made to create an authoring solution for mobile devices. Enabling people to create XML documents on mobile devices is very exciting, mainly because the user interaction is completely different: different screen resolutions, different interaction methods (touch, swipe, pinch), etc. See how Syncro Soft imagined XML authoring on an Android or an iPad!

Jim Tivy

Using DITA, like using many technologies, is a journey of managing complexity.

In this talk, you will learn which DITA features are simple, which features are complex, and how features can become overly complicated. You will also learn how to match content project objectives with DITA features. You will see how complexity enters into all phases of content management from authoring through to publishing. A formal framework for evaluating complexity will be discussed; finally, techniques for avoiding complications in concept and practice will be presented.

Ray Gallon

This session will cover:

  • A method for implementing embedded UA with DITA, which involves not just tech comm skills, but also content strategy, information architecture, and UI/UX skills
  • How this can be achieved at a very low cost
  • Why Ray Gallon chose DITA—despite the client being a small 30-person startup with a small volume of information to manage, but huge opportunities for reuse
  • How years of development can be avoided by making the switch
  • Building for the future, and opportunities for automated customization of the UA thanks to DITA
Scott Youngblom
Co-founder, Oberon Technologies

Managing the delivery of content to customers is a different discipline than managing the content during the creation, review and approval process. The content delivery process has its own actors, its own challenges, and thus requires its own tools. Today’s information consumers expect more than a PDF on a web server. They want to be able to quickly and easily access exactly the information they require, from anywhere, using any device (mobile devices, laptops, etc.). Also, modern technical communication must be a two-way street; in many cases, your customers know as much or more on the topic than the documentation authors, and the failure to capture that knowledge is a hidden cost in traditional, static, one-way documentation production processes. This presentation will discuss some of the content delivery possibilities enabled by DITA-based content, including topic-level delivery, on-demand generation of customized publications, and feedback loops from the end user to the author.

In this session you will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the possibilities available in the distribution of DITA-based documentation
  • Learn about a number of approaches for managing the content delivery process
  • Learn about best practices for managing content delivery