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INTRODUCTION
TO STRUCTURED
AUTHORING
George Brown College
May 5, 2015
ABOUT YOUR PRESENTER
7-May-15©2015AscanInformationArchitectsLimited
2
▪ Rob Hanna, ECMs
▪ President of Precision Content A...
AGENDA
▪ About structured authoring
▪ When to consider structured
authoring
▪ Role of collaboration in structured
authorin...
STRUCTURED
AUTHORING
The whys and whatfors
WHAT IS CONTENT?
Data Information
ContentKnowledge
LANGUAGE ARTS
Language Arts for Personal
Response (LAFPR)
▪ To emotionally engage the
reader
▪ Techniques:
▪ narrative sty...
IKEA INSTRUCTIONS: LAFI
IKEA INSTRUCTIONS: LAFPR
▪ If novelist Michael Ondaatje wrote Ikea instructions ….
“The eel-shaped talisman squirms inside...
STANDARDIZED BLOCKS OF
INFORMATION...
...ARE ASSEMBLED INTO INFORMATION
PRODUCTS
...AND REASSEMBLED FOR DIFFERENT
CONTEXTS
WHAT IS TOPIC-BASED AUTHORING?
“Topic-based authoring is a modular content creation approach…”
“A topic is a discrete piec...
TOPIC-BASED ARCHITECTURE
▪ Topics are standardized units of information based upon information
type
▪ Topics require only ...
OPPORTUNITIES FOR TOPIC-BASED
AUTHORING
▪ Speed to market
▪ Reduced maintenance effort
▪ Better opportunities for reuse
▪ ...
CHALLENGES FOR TOPIC-BASED
AUTHORING
▪ Writing process requires greater discipline
▪ Loss of content ownership for authors...
TOPIC-BASED CONTENT LIFECYCLE
Input: Topics
Output:
Information
Product
Repository:
Information Core
REUSABILITY
TRACEABILITY
RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)
▪ Expect return on investment if…
▪ The document is deliverable to clients or is tied directly ...
WORKING DEFINITIONS
Single-sourcing is any process used to systematically create
information products from a single define...
SINGLE-SOURCING
Single-sourcing is not about content reuse
- it is about reusable content.
Spectrum2008-ProcessRe-engineer...
SINGLE-SOURCE AUTHORING
▪ Single-source practices should be followed regardless of topic- or book-
based approach.
▪ Singl...
SINGLE-SOURCING TECHNOLOGY
Single-sourcing is a methodology, not a technology. Although the
software tools associated with...
CAN SINGLE-SOURCING HELP?
▪ Single-sourcing will…
▪ Improve the consistency of information
▪ Save on maintenance and custo...
PLANNING AND PROCESS
▪ Defining your objectives
▪ Analysing your audience
▪ Defining your source and structure
YOUR RESUME
A basic structured document
7-May-15©2015PrecisionContentAuthoringSolutionsInc.
26
WHAT ARE OUR OBJECTIVES?
▪ Key objectives include:
▪ Produce a résumé that is easy to update and tailor for each new job a...
WHO IS MY AUDIENCE
▪ HR Department
▪ Placement Agency
▪ Hiring Manager
▪ Automated systems
SELECTING A SOURCE
▪ Does a source already exist?
▪ Do multiple sources exist?
▪ How will you resolve discrepancies betwee...
BUILDING A STRUCTURE
▪ Does a structure already exist?
▪ Does it require modification for single-sourcing?
▪ Take a linear...
RESUME STRUCTURE
▪ Resume title
▪ Objective
▪ Target 1
▪ Target 2
▪ Personal Profile
▪ Education
▪ School
▪ Location
▪ Dat...
SINGLE-SOURCING WITH MS WORD
▪ Ball & Chain
vs. single-
sourcing
Linda Chung
Senior Technical Writer
123 Que en St E
Toron...
Resume1.doc
Contains AutoText:
Include Text Fields
{Bookmarked text}
ONE EXAMPLE
▪ AutoText shortcuts on-
the-fly, or
▪ Te...
REORGANIZING CONTENT
▪ What is presented first?
▪ Education at top vs. Education at bottom
▪ How?
▪ Inserting files as con...
INSERTED TEXT OBJECTS
▪ Resume files contains content objects
Résumé 1
Objective
Résumé 2
Objective
Education
Work History...
CONSIDERATIONS
▪ Consistency is required for good output
▪ Consistent style of writing
▪ Consistent mark-up of conditions
...
CONDITIONAL TEXT
▪ Set up & apply tags
CONDITIONAL TEXT
▪ View all conditions
CONDITIONAL TEXT
▪ Show leadership condition
CONDITIONAL TEXT
▪ Show writing condition
Structured
Content
STRUCTURED INFORMATION MEETS TWO
FUNDAMENTAL NEEDS
▪ Structured information
serves the needs of the
hum...
XML AND MARKUP
LANGUAGES
Now we get technical…
WHAT IS XML?
▪ (eXtensible Markup Language) is an open
standard for the exchange of information
▪ first published in 1998 ...
XML IS
EVERYWHERE
XML defines meaningful data structures for
documents and data. It is a human-readable
file format used t...
XML PROVIDES
▪ Database-functionality for content
▪ A separation of presentation and content
▪ A structure with which to m...
WHAT ARE MARKUP LANGUAGES?
▪ pre-date desktop publishing and the Internet
▪ tell computers how to handle data
▪ such as ho...
DOCUMENT CONTENT AS WE KNOW IT
The contents of a
document are
opaque to the
computer…
So we have to
label them!
Set up the...
PRESENTATION MARKUP
▪ With electronic presentation markup, we markup the
paragraph and italicize the citation for publicat...
ENTER STRUCTURED XML
Getting
better…
<topic><title>Set up the writer’s name as a variable in Oxygen Author</title>
<shortd...
SEMANTIC MARKUP
▪ With semantic markup, we markup the content to describe the meaning
of the text
▪ Publishing stylesheets...
ENTER STRUCTURED SEMANTIC XML
Structure
and
Meaning!
Enable
access!
<task><title>Set up the writer’s name as a variable in...
ACCESS!
▪ To be more agile, the content needs to be smarter
▪ Because computers are really pretty stupid
▪ In structure
▪ ...
SEMANTIC MARKUP
▪ Using semantic markup, we can
▪ disambiguate content
▪ search based on meaning
▪ connect to other conten...
SEMANTIC TAGGING ADDS CONTEXT TO
CONTENT
Shapes! Colours!
STRUCTURED VS. SEMANTIC TAGS
Rate each of the
following elements
by how well they
convey meaning
1 = descriptive
2 = parti...
INTELLIGENT CONTENT
▪ Content that is
▪ not limited to one
▪ purpose
▪ technology, or
▪ output
▪ structurally rich and sem...
INTRODUCTION TO
DITA/XML
Head-swimmingly technical…
WHAT IS DITA? (N. DIT-UH)
▪ (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is an
XML standard
▪ developed in late 90’s at IBM, a...
INFORMATION TYPES
What does
“ABS”
mean?
How do I
change
the oil?
What does
an airbag
do?
What are my
battery
specification...
DISAMBIGUATION
▪ You don’t “read” References
▪ You look something up and get out. Fast, clear navigation for finding facts...
DITA TOPIC STRUCTURE
7-May-15©2015PrecisionContentAuthoringSolutionsInc.
61
<task><title>Set up the writer’s name as a var...
DITA STRUCTURE
▪ Designed for Multi-format publishing
▪ Staged exposition
▪ Titlealts
▪ Abstract / Shortdesc
▪ Flexible li...
DITA MAPS
▪ Standard DITA information model
▪ identifies and presents user tasks
▪ maps topics to task flow
▪ supplements ...
TOPIC REUSE
CONDITIONAL REUSE (PROFILING)
CONDITIONS
<p>Here's some info about your product:
<ul>
<li product="producta">Info about product A
</li>
<li product="pro...
FRAGMENT-LEVEL REUSE
CONREF
REPURPOSING (MULTI-CHANNEL
PUBLISHING)
MULTI-CHANNEL
PUBLISHING
▪ Supports complex, multi-
channel publishing to
many common output
formats
▪ Add new formats or ...
SPECIALIZATION
▪ Specialized topic types derive features
from their parent while adding an
extension to their original fun...
WHO USES DITA?
▪ Hundreds of companies worldwide,
including:
▪ Adobe, Apple, Caterpillar, Dell, Elekta, IBM,
Juniper Netwo...
PRECISION CONTENT™
Writing principles and technologies for structured content
7-May-15©2015PrecisionContentAuthoringSoluti...
PRECISION CONTENT™
▪ A holistic approach to content
strategy helping to manage your
investment in content
transformation
▪...
DEFINITION OF PRECISION CONTENT™
▪ Precision Content™ is an authoring system for high-value enterprise
content.
▪ Benefits...
TYPES
▪ Fact (reference)
▪ Concept
▪ Principle
▪ Process
▪ Procedure (task)
EXCERPT FROM A MEDICAL
JOURNAL...
▪ pN3 description only
closely mirrors descriptions
for pN3a +pN3b + pN3c
▪ Use of footn...
SAME CONTENT AFTER RESTRUCTURE
TRANSFORMATION
▪ 44.2% reduction in word count
▪ 20% reduction in passive voice
▪ 18.4% inc...
SIDE-BY-SIDE COMPARISON
Before After
WHO IS PRECISION CONTENT
AUTHORING SOLUTIONS INC.?
▪ We help organizations across North America make their information
eas...
QUESTIONS?
Rob Hanna
Contact me through
• www.linkedin.com/in/singlesourceror
• rob@precisioncontent.com
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Introduction to structured authoring

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Presentation to George Brown class on May 5, 2015.

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Introduction to structured authoring

  1. 1. INTRODUCTION TO STRUCTURED AUTHORING George Brown College May 5, 2015
  2. 2. ABOUT YOUR PRESENTER 7-May-15©2015AscanInformationArchitectsLimited 2 ▪ Rob Hanna, ECMs ▪ President of Precision Content Authoring Solutions Inc. and a director of AIIM First Canadian Chapter ▪ Expert in structured authoring and content management practices and technology ▪ Instructor at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies – Metadata and Controlled Vocabularies
  3. 3. AGENDA ▪ About structured authoring ▪ When to consider structured authoring ▪ Role of collaboration in structured authoring ▪ Tools used for structured authoring ▪ XML and markup languages ▪ Semantic vs. presentation markup ▪ Anatomy of an XML document ▪ Topic-based vs. book-based content ▪ Introducing DITA/XML ▪ Information typing ▪ Multi-channel publishing ▪ Precision Content for the enterprise ▪ Demonstration ▪ Questions 7-May-15©2015PrecisionContentAuthoringSolutionsInc. 3
  4. 4. STRUCTURED AUTHORING The whys and whatfors
  5. 5. WHAT IS CONTENT? Data Information ContentKnowledge
  6. 6. LANGUAGE ARTS Language Arts for Personal Response (LAFPR) ▪ To emotionally engage the reader ▪ Techniques: ▪ narrative style ▪ varied vocabulary & sentence structure ▪ withholding information ▪ Writer driven ▪ Meant to be READ Language Arts for Information (LAFI) ▪ To convey information that readers need to use ▪ Techniques: ▪ consistent modular structure ▪ concise, direct vocabulary ▪ use of graphics ▪ Reader driven ▪ Meant to be USED
  7. 7. IKEA INSTRUCTIONS: LAFI
  8. 8. IKEA INSTRUCTIONS: LAFPR ▪ If novelist Michael Ondaatje wrote Ikea instructions …. “The eel-shaped talisman squirms inside the raspy recycled box. A series of quarter turns – clock hands marking time – bonds back to base. An alphabet of connections in English and French. A into groove B. C slots into D. Chipboard credenza communicating Swedish hegemony.” ▪ Author/parodist: Geoff Thomas Globe & Mail, August 27, 2009
  9. 9. STANDARDIZED BLOCKS OF INFORMATION...
  10. 10. ...ARE ASSEMBLED INTO INFORMATION PRODUCTS
  11. 11. ...AND REASSEMBLED FOR DIFFERENT CONTEXTS
  12. 12. WHAT IS TOPIC-BASED AUTHORING? “Topic-based authoring is a modular content creation approach…” “A topic is a discrete piece of content that is about a specific subject, has an identifiable purpose, and can stand alone…” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topic-based_authoring Spectrum2008-ProcessRe-engineeringforTopic-BasedAuthoring–©2008AllRightsReservedR.Hanna
  13. 13. TOPIC-BASED ARCHITECTURE ▪ Topics are standardized units of information based upon information type ▪ Topics require only navigational reference for context and can be read in any order ▪ Topics must all contain a descriptive title and normally include a body and metadata section ▪ Topics represent a single unit of work for authors ▪ Topics may contain other topics where there is an inseparable relationship from parent to child ▪ Topics are aggregated through a map or book container to create books and deliverables. Spectrum2008-ProcessRe-engineeringforTopic-BasedAuthoring–©2008AllRightsReservedR.Hanna
  14. 14. OPPORTUNITIES FOR TOPIC-BASED AUTHORING ▪ Speed to market ▪ Reduced maintenance effort ▪ Better opportunities for reuse ▪ Balancing workload ▪ Finer control over project management ▪ Opportunities for collaboration ▪ Clearer, more concise minimalist content Spectrum2008-ProcessRe-engineeringforTopic-BasedAuthoring–©2008AllRightsReservedR.Hanna
  15. 15. CHALLENGES FOR TOPIC-BASED AUTHORING ▪ Writing process requires greater discipline ▪ Loss of content ownership for authors ▪ Less control over look and feel ▪ Responsibilities redefined ▪ Loss of context for SMEs and authors ▪ More to manage Spectrum2008-ProcessRe-engineeringforTopic-BasedAuthoring–©2008AllRightsReservedR.Hanna
  16. 16. TOPIC-BASED CONTENT LIFECYCLE Input: Topics Output: Information Product Repository: Information Core
  17. 17. REUSABILITY
  18. 18. TRACEABILITY
  19. 19. RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI) ▪ Expect return on investment if… ▪ The document is deliverable to clients or is tied directly to a product or service ▪ The document has a long life expectancy ▪ Many updates can be expected over time ▪ Several variants may exist at any one time ▪ Parts of the document are reused elsewhere ▪ I can expect to recover my actual costs
  20. 20. WORKING DEFINITIONS Single-sourcing is any process used to systematically create information products from a single defined source of information. or “Writing information once and using it many times” - Ann Rockley, 2001
  21. 21. SINGLE-SOURCING Single-sourcing is not about content reuse - it is about reusable content. Spectrum2008-ProcessRe-engineeringforTopic-BasedAuthoring–©2008AllRightsReservedR.Hanna
  22. 22. SINGLE-SOURCE AUTHORING ▪ Single-source practices should be followed regardless of topic- or book- based approach. ▪ Single-sourcing is all about maintaining a single, definitive source of content. Reuse is merely a benefit of single-sourcing. ▪ Book-based authoring is used where content can generally only be reused in situations where reuse is planned. ▪ Topic-based authoring makes it much easier to reuse content without anticipating its specific reuse context. Spectrum2008-ProcessRe-engineeringforTopic-BasedAuthoring–©2008AllRightsReservedR.Hanna
  23. 23. SINGLE-SOURCING TECHNOLOGY Single-sourcing is a methodology, not a technology. Although the software tools associated with single-sourcing are complex, it is the modular writing, not technology, that ultimately determines the success of your single-sourcing project. ▪ Kurt Ament – Single Sourcing: Building Modular Documentation, 2003
  24. 24. CAN SINGLE-SOURCING HELP? ▪ Single-sourcing will… ▪ Improve the consistency of information ▪ Save on maintenance and customization efforts ▪ Improve the quality of the content ▪ Require significant upfront planning and investment
  25. 25. PLANNING AND PROCESS ▪ Defining your objectives ▪ Analysing your audience ▪ Defining your source and structure
  26. 26. YOUR RESUME A basic structured document 7-May-15©2015PrecisionContentAuthoringSolutionsInc. 26
  27. 27. WHAT ARE OUR OBJECTIVES? ▪ Key objectives include: ▪ Produce a résumé that is easy to update and tailor for each new job application. ▪ Maintain various versions: Short/Long; Technical Writer/Team Lead; Contractor/Employee. ▪ Maintain various formats including: Word, HTML, PDF, and ASCII text. ▪ Showcase help authoring skills by producing a Windows help version.
  28. 28. WHO IS MY AUDIENCE ▪ HR Department ▪ Placement Agency ▪ Hiring Manager ▪ Automated systems
  29. 29. SELECTING A SOURCE ▪ Does a source already exist? ▪ Do multiple sources exist? ▪ How will you resolve discrepancies between various sources? ▪ Create your definitive source of information
  30. 30. BUILDING A STRUCTURE ▪ Does a structure already exist? ▪ Does it require modification for single-sourcing? ▪ Take a linear document and make it modular ▪ Break the document into its component parts
  31. 31. RESUME STRUCTURE ▪ Resume title ▪ Objective ▪ Target 1 ▪ Target 2 ▪ Personal Profile ▪ Education ▪ School ▪ Location ▪ Date ▪ Degree ▪ Professional Experience ▪ Company ▪ Location ▪ Position ▪ Tasks ▪ Accomplishments ▪ Skills ▪ Skill name ▪ Experience level ▪ Last used ▪ Years used ▪ References ▪ Name ▪ Position ▪ Company ▪ Contact ▪ E-mail ▪ Telephone ▪ Description
  32. 32. SINGLE-SOURCING WITH MS WORD ▪ Ball & Chain vs. single- sourcing Linda Chung Senior Technical Writer 123 Que en St E Toronto, ONM4N 3R8 Tel 416 555-1212 Email: linda.chung @lascan .ca Towrite t wice as m uch docu mentatio n in half the time. Really Bi g Corp Oct 99 - Present Helped d evelop a single sou rcing pro ject that lorem ipsum ad ve lor. Small En terprises June 98 - Sep 99 Lorem ip sumad v elor dolot. Objective Experience Small En terprises June 98 - Sep 99 Lorem ip sumad v elor dolot. Doc 1 .pdf Doc 2 .hlp Doc 3 .doc Object d Object a Object b Object c 1 ton Data Source Workflow
  33. 33. Resume1.doc Contains AutoText: Include Text Fields {Bookmarked text} ONE EXAMPLE ▪ AutoText shortcuts on- the-fly, or ▪ Template for each version ▪ Source data changes -- reflected in output ▪ Styles tied to output documents DB.doc Contains Bookmarked Text [Objective: to write] Resume1.doc Contains AutoText: Include Text Fields {Objective: to write} Resume2.doc Contains AutoText: Include Text Fields {Objective: to write} [Objective: to lead] {Objective: to lead} {Objective: to lead}
  34. 34. REORGANIZING CONTENT ▪ What is presented first? ▪ Education at top vs. Education at bottom ▪ How? ▪ Inserting files as content objects
  35. 35. INSERTED TEXT OBJECTS ▪ Resume files contains content objects Résumé 1 Objective Résumé 2 Objective Education Work History Work History Education
  36. 36. CONSIDERATIONS ▪ Consistency is required for good output ▪ Consistent style of writing ▪ Consistent mark-up of conditions ▪ FrameMaker limitations ▪ Conditions for multiple purposes ▪ Text tagged with multiple conditions ▪ Cannot use conditional text to rearrange your content
  37. 37. CONDITIONAL TEXT ▪ Set up & apply tags
  38. 38. CONDITIONAL TEXT ▪ View all conditions
  39. 39. CONDITIONAL TEXT ▪ Show leadership condition
  40. 40. CONDITIONAL TEXT ▪ Show writing condition
  41. 41. Structured Content STRUCTURED INFORMATION MEETS TWO FUNDAMENTAL NEEDS ▪ Structured information serves the needs of the human brain to ▪ find ▪ understand ▪ use, and ▪ retain information. ▪ Structured information serves the needs of technology to manage information that ▪ aligns to a data structure ▪ is searchable, and ▪ reusable.
  42. 42. XML AND MARKUP LANGUAGES Now we get technical…
  43. 43. WHAT IS XML? ▪ (eXtensible Markup Language) is an open standard for the exchange of information ▪ first published in 1998 by W3C ▪ to encode electronic documents readable by ▪ human, and ▪ machine ▪ for a multitude of applications ranging from ▪ corporate financial reporting applications, to ▪ Microsoft Word
  44. 44. XML IS EVERYWHERE XML defines meaningful data structures for documents and data. It is a human-readable file format used to power • manufacturing assembly lines • medical devices • military applications, and • many other things. XML is the language of the Web. It enables smart phones and web browsers. 7-May-15©2015PrecisionContentAuthoringSolutionsInc. 44
  45. 45. XML PROVIDES ▪ Database-functionality for content ▪ A separation of presentation and content ▪ A structure with which to modularise ▪ A single piece of information can start it’s life in any department, and be shared inside and outside the department or organisation ▪ By explicitly labelling all units of information inside a document based on meaning, source, and status ▪ i.e., everything is tagged and accessible ▪ This enables content management and publishing automation
  46. 46. WHAT ARE MARKUP LANGUAGES? ▪ pre-date desktop publishing and the Internet ▪ tell computers how to handle data ▪ such as how to render electronic content on a page ▪ categorized as either ▪ presentation, or ▪ semantic markup
  47. 47. DOCUMENT CONTENT AS WE KNOW IT The contents of a document are opaque to the computer… So we have to label them! Set up the writer’s name as a variable in Oxygen Author Comments in documents should always be attributed to the reviewer. Oxygen will insert the writer’s name into draft comments automatically once it is configured properly. Before you begin Ensure that the Precision Content framework is installed on your version of Oxygen Author. Procedure The following steps will guide you through the setup of a custom user variable in your Oxygen environment. 1. Open Oxygen Author 2. Select Options > Preferences > Custom Editor Variables 3. Click New 4. Enter the appropriate values to create a new custom variable ▪ Name: prec_d_mapper ▪ Value: {Your Name} ▪ Description: Writer name 5. Click OK
  48. 48. PRESENTATION MARKUP ▪ With electronic presentation markup, we markup the paragraph and italicize the citation for publication ▪ This is typical of web pages using hypertext markup (HTML) The Cancer Journal: The Journal of Principles & Practice of Oncology provides an integrated view of modern oncology across all disciplines. <p><i>The Cancer Journal: The Journal of Principles & Practice of Oncology</i> provides an integrated view of modern oncology across <i>all</i> disciplines.</p> The Cancer Journal: The Journal of Principles & Practice of Oncology provides an integrated view of modern oncology across all disciplines.
  49. 49. ENTER STRUCTURED XML Getting better… <topic><title>Set up the writer’s name as a variable in Oxygen Author</title> <shortdesc>Comments in documents should always be attributed to the reviewer. Oxygen will insert the writer’s name into draft comments automatically once it is configured properly.</shortdesc> <body><section><title>Before you begin</title> <p>Ensure that the Precision Content framework is installed on your version of Oxygen Author.</p></section> <section><title>Procedure</title> <p>The following steps will guide you through the setup of a custom user variable in your Oxygen environment.<ol> <li>Open Oxygen Author</li> <li>Select Options > Preferences > Custom Editor Variables</li> <li>Click <b>New</b></li> <li>Enter the appropriate values to create a new custom variable <lines>Name: prec_d_mapper Value: <i>{Your Name}</i> Description: Writer name</lines></li> <li>Click <b>OK</b></li></ol></p></body></topic>
  50. 50. SEMANTIC MARKUP ▪ With semantic markup, we markup the content to describe the meaning of the text ▪ Publishing stylesheets interpret the meaning from the markup and apply appropriate styles specific to the publishing context The Cancer Journal: The Journal of Principles & Practice of Oncology provides an integrated view of modern oncology across all disciplines. <intro><cite>The Cancer Journal: The Journal of Principles & Practice of Oncology</cite> provides an integrated view of modern oncology across <em>all</em> disciplines.</intro> The Cancer Journal: The Journal of Principles & Practice of Oncology provides an integrated view of modern oncology across all disciplines. The Cancer Journal: The Journal of Principles & Practice of Oncology provides an integrated view of modern oncology across all disciplines.
  51. 51. ENTER STRUCTURED SEMANTIC XML Structure and Meaning! Enable access! <task><title>Set up the writer’s name as a variable in Oxygen Author</title> <shortdesc>Comments in documents should always be attributed to the reviewer. Oxygen will insert the writer’s name into draft comments automatically once it is configured properly.</shortdesc> <taskbody><prereq><p>Ensure that the Precision Content framework is installed on your version of Oxygen Author.</p></prereq> <steps><stepsection>The following steps will guide you through the setup of a custom user variable in your Oxygen environment.</stepsection> <step><cmd>Open Oxygen Author</cmd></step> <step><cmd>Select <menucascade><uicontrol>Options</uicontrol><uicontrol>Preferences</uicontrol><uicontrol >Custom Editor Variables</uicontrol></menucascade></cmd></step> <step><cmd>Click <uicontrol>New</uicontrol></cmd></step> <step><cmd>Enter the appropriate values to create a new custom variable</cmd> <info><lines>Name: prec_d_mapper Value: <varname>{Your Name}</varname> Description: Writer name</lines></info></step> <step><cmd>Click <uicontrol>OK</uicontrol></cmd></step></steps></taskbody></task>
  52. 52. ACCESS! ▪ To be more agile, the content needs to be smarter ▪ Because computers are really pretty stupid ▪ In structure ▪ Every label / tag / component or section has an ‘Address’ ▪ Because it can be clearly identified, you can just look it up, and pull it out to be used. ▪ Access by address means what was an opaque, messy pile is clear ▪ More semantic labels mean more meaningful queries
  53. 53. SEMANTIC MARKUP ▪ Using semantic markup, we can ▪ disambiguate content ▪ search based on meaning ▪ connect to other content, and ▪ reuse or substitute new text.
  54. 54. SEMANTIC TAGGING ADDS CONTEXT TO CONTENT Shapes! Colours!
  55. 55. STRUCTURED VS. SEMANTIC TAGS Rate each of the following elements by how well they convey meaning 1 = descriptive 2 = partial 3 = vague <chapter> <procedure> <table> <phrasehighlight> <italic> <report> <syntaxtable> <installationtask> <section> <list> <paragraph> <introduction> <note> <book> <taskstep> <missionstatement> (2) (1) (3) (3) (3) (2) (1) (1) (3) (3) (3) (1) (2) (2) (1) (1)
  56. 56. INTELLIGENT CONTENT ▪ Content that is ▪ not limited to one ▪ purpose ▪ technology, or ▪ output ▪ structurally rich and semantically aware, making it ▪ discoverable ▪ reusable ▪ reconfigurable, and ▪ adaptable.
  57. 57. INTRODUCTION TO DITA/XML Head-swimmingly technical…
  58. 58. WHAT IS DITA? (N. DIT-UH) ▪ (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is an XML standard ▪ developed in late 90’s at IBM, and ▪ given to the open source community in 2004 ▪ used for topic-based, structured authoring ▪ designed for scalability using mechanisms for specialization and inheritance ▪ defining an extendable set of information types
  59. 59. INFORMATION TYPES What does “ABS” mean? How do I change the oil? What does an airbag do? What are my battery specifications? Concept Task Reference Glossary
  60. 60. DISAMBIGUATION ▪ You don’t “read” References ▪ You look something up and get out. Fast, clear navigation for finding facts, parameters, and/or other ‘data’. ▪ Concept does not = Reference ▪ .... Even though you “refer” to a concept (possibly in a “reference manual”) if you don’t understand something ▪ You “refer” to tasks when you don’t remember how to do something... ▪ Task has sequential instructions ▪ The user needs to do them to achieve a specific result ▪ A list of complex suggestions or possibilities is best in a concept. If they’re very succinct look-up list of data-points, could even be a reference
  61. 61. DITA TOPIC STRUCTURE 7-May-15©2015PrecisionContentAuthoringSolutionsInc. 61 <task><title>Set up the writer’s name as a variable in Oxygen Author</title> <shortdesc>Comments in documents should always be attributed to the reviewer. Oxygen will insert the writer’s name into draft comments automatically once it is configured properly.</shortdesc> <prolog><metadata><keywords><indexterm>Variables<indexterm>Custom</indexterm ></indexterm></keywords></metadata></prolog> <taskbody><prereq><p>Ensure that the Precision Content framework is installed on your version of Oxygen Author.</p></prereq> <steps><stepsection>The following steps will guide you through the setup of a custom user variable in your Oxygen environment.</stepsection> <step><cmd>Open Oxygen Author</cmd></step> <step><cmd>Select <menucascade><uicontrol>Options</uicontrol><uicontrol>Preferences</uicontrol> <uicontrol>Custom Editor Variables</uicontrol></menucascade></cmd></step> <step><cmd>Click <uicontrol>New</uicontrol></cmd></step> <step><cmd>Click <uicontrol>OK</uicontrol></cmd></step></steps></taskbody> </task> Root element Title Short description Topic prologue Body
  62. 62. DITA STRUCTURE ▪ Designed for Multi-format publishing ▪ Staged exposition ▪ Titlealts ▪ Abstract / Shortdesc ▪ Flexible linking ▪ Map level (reltables) ▪ Traditional xref ▪ “Related Links” ▪ Reuse ▪ Maps and submaps ▪ Topic-level ▪ Inline strings (conref) ▪ Variables (conkeyref)
  63. 63. DITA MAPS ▪ Standard DITA information model ▪ identifies and presents user tasks ▪ maps topics to task flow ▪ supplements with ▪ conceptual and ▪ reference material. ▪ Maps organize topics into context for publication ▪ They manage relationships between all topics Alarm Clock User Guide About Alarm Clocks Setting Clock Setting Wake Up Alarm Setting Radio Alarm Installing Batteries Radio Settings Battery Specifications
  64. 64. TOPIC REUSE
  65. 65. CONDITIONAL REUSE (PROFILING)
  66. 66. CONDITIONS <p>Here's some info about your product: <ul> <li product="producta">Info about product A </li> <li product="productb">Info about product B </li> <li product="productc">Info about product C </li> </ul> </p>
  67. 67. FRAGMENT-LEVEL REUSE
  68. 68. CONREF
  69. 69. REPURPOSING (MULTI-CHANNEL PUBLISHING)
  70. 70. MULTI-CHANNEL PUBLISHING ▪ Supports complex, multi- channel publishing to many common output formats ▪ Add new formats or styles easily ?
  71. 71. SPECIALIZATION ▪ Specialized topic types derive features from their parent while adding an extension to their original function
  72. 72. WHO USES DITA? ▪ Hundreds of companies worldwide, including: ▪ Adobe, Apple, Caterpillar, Dell, Elekta, IBM, Juniper Networks, McAfee, Nokia, PayPal, Philips, RIM, SAP, SDL, Xerox and many more ▪ IBM publishes 60M pages of content in 40 languages using DITA
  73. 73. PRECISION CONTENT™ Writing principles and technologies for structured content 7-May-15©2015PrecisionContentAuthoringSolutionsInc. 73
  74. 74. PRECISION CONTENT™ ▪ A holistic approach to content strategy helping to manage your investment in content transformation ▪ Includes elements of ▪ utility ▪ usability, and ▪ maintainability @2015PrecisionContentAuthoringSolutionsInc.
  75. 75. DEFINITION OF PRECISION CONTENT™ ▪ Precision Content™ is an authoring system for high-value enterprise content. ▪ Benefits of use include ▪ greater accessibility and ease of use ▪ increased consistency and accuracy, and ▪ extensive multi-channel publishing capabilities. ▪ This system consists of ▪ content strategy and management best practices ▪ innovative applications of open-source technology and standards, and ▪ modernized adaptations to information mapping writing practices researched and developed at Harvard University in the 1960’s.
  76. 76. TYPES ▪ Fact (reference) ▪ Concept ▪ Principle ▪ Process ▪ Procedure (task)
  77. 77. EXCERPT FROM A MEDICAL JOURNAL... ▪ pN3 description only closely mirrors descriptions for pN3a +pN3b + pN3c ▪ Use of footnotes confusing ▪ “Clinically detected” and “Not clinically detected” are not exact opposites ▪ Inconsistent enumeration of lymph nodes
  78. 78. SAME CONTENT AFTER RESTRUCTURE TRANSFORMATION ▪ 44.2% reduction in word count ▪ 20% reduction in passive voice ▪ 18.4% increase in Flesch Reading Ease score ▪ 30% increase in white space ▪ Elimination of footnotes ▪ Addition of labels and visual elements
  79. 79. SIDE-BY-SIDE COMPARISON Before After
  80. 80. WHO IS PRECISION CONTENT AUTHORING SOLUTIONS INC.? ▪ We help organizations across North America make their information easier to use ▪ Our solutions consist of ▪ Content strategy ▪ Detailed information architecture ▪ Content lifecycle design and development ▪ Turn-key content transformation ▪ Tools selection and development ▪ Multi-channel publishing ▪ www.precisioncontent.com 7-May-15©2015PrecisionContentAuthoringSolutionsInc. 80
  81. 81. QUESTIONS? Rob Hanna Contact me through • www.linkedin.com/in/singlesourceror • rob@precisioncontent.com

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