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Structured Authoring for DITA

For information about hosting a workshop, click here.

Length: Two days

Fee: $975.00 USD



Description

How do I write modular content without knowing the context in which modules will be presented? What information types do we need to use for our content? Is it possible to have too many different information types? Will I lose my creativity if I just write modules instead of creating an entire book or help system?

These and more questions occur every time I talk about content-management and topic-based authoring to an audience of writers, editors, and managers. Everyone wants to understand what it will be like to write in a content-management environment. People who are willing to embrace a new way of working want to know what to expect. Those anxious to expand their career options want to learn what the new options are all about. They are prepared to take on new roles like information architect and repository manager, once they understand what the new roles are.

Structured authoring addresses the decisions that writers, editors, and project managers need to make. The emphasis is on your own materials-with much hands-on participation. From information types through content units, you discuss with teammates and other attendees what the best solutions might be. You tackle granularity and semantic markup, as well as the implications of XML.

To implement topic-based authoring for information development and publishing, we strongly recommend that organizations structure the content they produce into discrete, standalone topics. Well-structured topics lead to more opportunities for reuse across products, user communities, delivery media, and other dimensions. More reuse leads to a greater return on investment, as well as the ability to deliver dynamic content to your information customers.

This workshop is meant for those who need to implement structured documentation, primarily writers, training developers, editors, publications and training managers, anyone who writes for print or web and anyone implementing topic-based, XML authoring in their organizations.

In the workshop, participants learn how to:

  • Understand the importance of having a comprehensive Information Model with an integrated user model to meet customer needs
  • Apply the user model to make well-targeted decisions about information types and content units, writing the content units, and writing variations
  • Analyze user tasks and associated content clusters and develop a DITA topic plan using the Annotated Topic List
  • Select the appropriate information type for each topic
  • Write content units consistently and ensure that the content is appropriate and well written
  • Practice defining and writing DITA concepts, tasks, and references
  • Apply conditional publishing to topics for multiple deliverables
  • Publish a DITA map
  • Understand the importance of collaborative authoring and the key elements of a successful collaboration
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