Why is DITA So Hard?

Why is DITA So Hard? Understanding the Link and Configuration Management Challenges Inherent in Technical Documentation

Understanding the Link and Configuration Management Challenges Inherent in Technical Documentation

Presented by: Eliot Kimber, Contrext, LLC
Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm ET

DITA-based technical documents are inherently sophisticated and complex hyperdocuments. They are developed through complex revision processes, often by highly-distributed teams. Thus DITA documents and their management present a number of challenges inherent in the nature of sophisticated technical documentation. While the value of this sophisticated approach to documentation has tremendous value to organizations as a whole, it can make the life of individual authors much more challenging, leading to the common complaint “DITA is too hard”. This talk presents the link and configuration management challenges inherent in sophisticated hyperlinked documentation and discusses the features of DITA and DITA component content management systems that address these challenges. If authors and managers understand the challenges inherent in DITA-based authoring they can at least set their expectations and provision tools and resources appropriately.

What can attendees expect to learn?

  • The way in which DITA documents are sophisticated hyperdocuments
  • What “configuration management” means in the context of DITA-based documentation
  • The fundamental link and configuration management challenges DITA hyperdocuments present
  • The DITA features that enable and support hyperdocument
  • The link and configuration management features DITA-aware component configuration management systems must provide in order to support authors.
  • A little bit about Aikido

About the Presenter:

Eliot Kimber,
Contrext, LLC.

Eliot Kimber is a founding and active member of the DITA Technical Committee (Eliot was responsible for the majority of the new proposals in DITA 1.3, although not necessarily the most interesting proposals). He has been working with structured documents and complex markup for over 30 years. He is a founding member of the W3C XML Working Group and an editor HyTime 2nd Edition. Eliot is the founder and primary contributor to the open-source DITA for Publishers project and author of DITA For Practitioners (XML Press). Eliot lives and works in Austin, Texas.




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