Optimizing the Content Lifecycle

DITA is usually exclusively handled as content source material, which needs to be published into one or another format to present it to the users. Reviewing DITA content is either done in the DITA source or using methods that are external to the DITA format (notes in PDFs, change requests in Word or even post-its on paper). Essentially, the publication process is a unidirectional transformation, which leads your content into a blind alley, a point of no return. This presentation showcases a novel approach to publishing DITA, in which reviewing can be done in context without ever leaving the DITA model. DIDO, or “DITA In, DITA Out”, might be a good name for this new paradigm. Using lossless transformation scenarios, standard editing capabilities of modern browsers and features of the upcoming DITA 1.3 standard, a viable alternative can be created to either using old-fashioned review notes or forcing subject matter experts to learn about DITA editing. The presentation builds on the “Live DITA Documents” idea, which was presented at various conferences in the past year and received many positive reactions.

What can attendees expect to learn?

The audience will learn about new ways of handling the review workflow when dealing with DITA documents. SME’s no longer need to learn DITA, and authors no longer need to manually copy notes from PDFs or paper into the DITA source materials. The proposed method optimises the workflow, using the latest developments in the DITA standard as a basis. Apart from optimising the review workflow, the same approach also allows end users to add comments, which can automatically be processed back into the DITA source materials. This highly increases the usefulness of such end user comments, as they become both easier to enter (for the end user) and easier to process (by the author). All concepts will be shown in a live demo. This is not merely a concept – it comes with proof.

Meet the Presenter

Jang F.M. Graat studied Physics, Psychology and Philosophy before embarking on a fast-track career in the high-tech computer business domain. He has 30 years experience in technical authoring, training and consulting and delivered countless presentations at conferences around the globe. He is known for his ability to think out of the box. In May 2015, he joined Tom Aldous in The Content Era LLC, where he holds the position of Chief Technologist. He lives in Amsterdam, together with his princess, two cats, a library of philosophical books, a collection of musical instruments and a bunch of computers.


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