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This page displays entries posted by all DITA bloggers in chronological order. You may also view entries by author or blog name as well as a list of DITA-related blogs on external sites.

Michael Priestley

The structured web (day 1 of DITA 2006)

Scroll down to the bottom if you're wondering what the post title means. First comes my reaction to the sessions I attended.

The day kicked off with Dave Schell sharing some reuse statistics and case studies from IBM, showing DITA reuse at ca.70-80% in sharing content across similar products, with substantial savings being invested back into documentation improvements, such as more tutorials and sample development. In addition he talked about some projects using DITA in IBM outside of the traditional tech doc realm, including e-learning, and on-demand publishing for business partners of customized configuration guides using generated DITA maps.

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Day Lights

Daylights: Day 1 of DITA 2006

The DITA 2006 conference has started its regular program. Dave Schell, the keynote speasker, presented some IBM experiences with publishing, outlining the costs of some of the previous ways of publishing product documentation, how those experiences informed on the design of DITA, and how the DITA model has brought about specific savings on several projects that have had one or more publishing cycles by now.

Cost avoidance is one of the key issues that Dave discussed. With traditional publishing, the cut/copy/paste penchant of writers was identified as one of the main causes for increasing the amount of review and update as various information sets "forked" from some original version.  In moving to a topic-oriented architecture, one team was able to relegate up to 80% of its information as "common", now completely out of the picture for ongoing review and translation and other handling. Another team working on a completely different product got up to 77% common reuse at the topic level (including some conref reuse as well--phrase-level reuse by reference).

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Michael Priestley

(Still a)live from DITA 2006 (post-workshop)

After a rocky start with technical difficulties on the projector front, did get going - lots of questions, a very interactive audience. I'm always happy when there's lots of questions, because I think that's the real value of having me there in person as opposed to reading an article or listening to a recording. Unfortunately the slow start combined with such active interest did mean I fell behind and scrambled a bit in the afternoon, trying to jam all the DITA map and information architecture content into just a couple of hours, at the expense of coherence and of the schedule (I ended up running a good hour or so over the original closing time).

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Michael Priestley

Looking at the future, focused on the present

This morning we discussed DITA feature design for DITA 1.1, and this afternoon I spent brushing up on my DITA authoring workshop, which I'm delivering tomorrow. It's a bit of a weird feeling: one eye on the future, as the Technical Committee expands DITA's capabilities for book publishing and conditional processing; and one eye on the present, making sure that DITA still fits into best practices and processes that can deliver improved quality, not just reduced cost.  DITA is good technology, but all it can do is reduce the pain of doing the right thing: it can't do the right thing for you.

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User requirements

Users tell us that they want to reach just the nugget of information they need to do their work and move on. Focus Areas: BPEL | DITA | ebXML | IDtrust | OpenDocument | SAML | UBL | UDDI
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