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Case study DITA

The Rocky Road to Dublin, er, DITA

For LavaCon Dublin, Sarah O’Keefe and I delivered a case study presentation on some of the roadblocks we have encountered in implementing DITA at ADP. This article summarizes the key points of the presentation. The presentation and this blog do not represent the views of ADP, LLC.

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DITA Tools

SubjectScheme explained

Your project is coming along nicely. You have your workflow ready, your style guides are composed, and things are looking up. However, you have complex metadata needs that are starting to cause problems. You need a way to ensure that authors are only using valid attribute values, and that your publication pipeline isn’t going to suffer. This is a situation that calls for a subjectScheme.

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Analysis Content strategy DITA

The second wave of DITA

You have DITA. Now what?

More companies are asking this question as DITA adoption increases. For many of our customers, the first wave of DITA means deciding whether it’s a good fit for their content. The companies that choose to implement DITA find that it increases the overall efficiency of content production with better reuse, automated formatting, and so on.

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DITA

Unsung heroes of DITA (premium)

For some content developers—especially those using DITA for the first time—any features of DITA that go beyond the basics can seem intimidating. But sometimes, a special feature of DITA might be exactly what an organization needs to solve one of its content problems and save money. Features like conref push, subject scheme, and the learning and training specialization could play a powerful role in your content strategy—and they’re not as difficult to use as you might think.

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DITA

The friendly guide to the scope, format, and type attributes in DITA

In testing one day, I was running a set of sample content through the DITA-OT, and much to my consternation, the build was succeeding, but generating no content. The error log helped to ferret out the source of the problem; the preprocessor was attempting to extract a linktext and navtitle from an image file that could not be found.

The image in question was a keyref pulled in from a map referenced in the main map file. Everything validated, previews showed the images resolving correctly, yet the images steadfastly refused to be pulled in during preprocessing—so what was wrong?

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DITA Opinion

Making metadata in DITA work for you

Metadata is one of the most important factors in making the most of your DITA XML-based content environment. Whether you’re converting legacy content into DITA or creating new structured content, it’s important to know what metadata (or data about data) your files will keep track of and why. Coming up with a plan for using metadata can be tricky, so here are some tips to make the process easier.

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DITA White papers

Conditional content in DITA

This post provides an overview of techniques you can use to handle conditional content in DITA. The need for complex conditions is a common reason organizations choose DITA as their content model. As conditional requirements get more complex, the basic Show/Hide functionality offered in many desktop publishing tools is no longer sufficient.

Conditional processing is especially interesting–or maybe problematic—when you combine it with reuse requirements. You identify a piece of content that could be reused except for one small bit that needs to be different in the two reuse scenarios.

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DITA

Managing DITA projects (premium)

A DITA implementation isn’t merely a matter of picking tools. Several factors, including wrangling the different groups affected by an implementation, are critical to successfully managing DITA projects.

Note: This post assumes you have already done a content strategy analysis, which determined the DITA standard supports your company’s business goals.

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DITA Webcast

Webcast: DITA 101

In this webcast recording, Sarah O’Keefe gives an overview of DITA, one of the major structured authoring standards in tech comm. You’ll also learn about DITA concepts, the business case for DITA, and typical scenarios where DITA is used.

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