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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

DITA metrics at the CMS/DITA 2013 conference

I attended several sessions on metrics, including the conference keynote, and a few key points jumped out at me:

  • The wrong metrics can be worse than no metrics at all

  • Metrics should be stable over time to allow for tracking

  • Start by figuring out what decisions you need to make – then gather the metrics you need to make that decision

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leaps and bounds … with the occasional stumble

Showed the results so far to one of the developers yesterday, output to multi-page xhtml, and came away with some useful questions. Selecting the <prolog> and then Help > Show content model – I'm so pleased with my choice of editor – pointed me in the direction of prodinfo and reminded me about critdates, and output to Web Help added navigation and docset search …

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one approach, many benefits

All the topics in the test project are now ready: next stage, scrutinise them to see where I can best demonstrate links and re-use. But while I'm grappling with that side of DITA, a whole new potential benefit seems to be dawning – accessible metadata.

Most of the development teams I'm working are quite comfortable with the idea of XML even if they hadn't thought about applying it to documentation. The chance of using custom attributes in the <author> element to have some idea of who provided the information is making them sit up and take notice.

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In pursuit of the ultimate techCom information architecture

Why is the result often a million little pieces even though DITA does not encourage authors to chunk information in such a way?

A lot of discussions and confusion in social media has recently, as it seems, dealt with two issues concerning the use of DITA (see for example a discussion in the DITA awareness group on linkedIn or another discussion on LinkedIn or a blog post by Tom Johnson). The first issue relates to the question if topics shall be nested or not, that is, shall DITA topics be kept as separate files or shall authors instead use a <dita> document and nest topics within it?

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Michael Priestley

Lightweight DITA at CMS/DITA North America 2013

Two weeks after the fact, I'm still processing stuff I learned at the conference. Over two and a half days with four tracks of presentations, there wasn't a single hour when I didn't want to be in at least two places at once.

I'm told there were over 350 attendees from 17 countries around the world, many of them new to DITA. The conference provided incredible depth of technical content, but will definitely need more introductory sessions or workshops next year as well to balance things out. The community is growing!

Read more Focus Areas: BPEL | DITA | ebXML | IDtrust | OpenDocument | SAML | UBL | UDDI
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