Changing the engine without stopping the rickshaw

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This presentation is a reworked version of a joint presentation with a customer at TCWorld in Germany 2012. It shows how the transition from unstructured documentation to the modern world of structured, XML-based and topic-oriented authoring can be made smooth, without interfering with the publication chain. This presentation describes a project that was done using FrameMaker 10 with its built-in ExtendScript toolkit. It shows how being able to mix unstructured and structured content, including a DITA-type conref mechanism, can be used to keep the system running while the materials are converted and pushed into a repository for reuse one by one. This flattens the legacy documentation hurdle that may keep companies from moving to modern authoring practices.

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Changing the engine without stopping the rickshaw

  1. 1. CHANGING THE ENGINEWITHOUT STOPPING THE RICKSHAW
  2. 2. WHO’S TALKING ?Jang F.M. Graat Studied Applied Physics, Psychology, Philosophy Worked 25+ years in Tech Comms industry JANG Communication Amsterdam, Netherlands Self-educated professional Automating FrameMaker
  3. 3. THE PROBLEMLegacy documents Too much to leave behind Still alive - worth $$$Content Management Convert or rewrite All or nothing Changed publication track High up-front cost
  4. 4. THE SOLUTION ?Non-intrusive conversion One file at a time Minimal style changesPartial reuse options Only when needed Gradual transitionContent management Using a custom repository
  5. 5. STEP 1: CONVERSION
  6. 6. UNSTRUCTURED ?
  7. 7. FORMAT TAGS
  8. 8. CONTENT + FORMATS
  9. 9. CONVERSIONBefore: structure shown by formats
  10. 10. CONVERSIONAfter: formats based on structure
  11. 11. NO VISIBLE CHANGE Before After
  12. 12. UNDER THE HOODBefore After
  13. 13. PUBLICATION PROCESS
  14. 14. STEP 2: REUSETopics Maps Publications
  15. 15. CMS: ALL OR NOTHING
  16. 16. USING TEXT INSETSMyInsets.fm MyChapter.fm Flow A Flow Main Flow B
  17. 17. STRUCTURED INSETSMyInsets.fm MyChapter.fm
  18. 18. INSETPLUS
  19. 19. DITA CONREF METHOD
  20. 20. STEP 3: MANAGEMENT
  21. 21. SPAGHETTI DOCUMENTS
  22. 22. CONTAINER TOPICS
  23. 23. taskstep warning prelreqsstep warning warning cautionstep caution supplystep caution conditionstep notice stepsstep step notice stepstep step supply stepstep supply stepstep step supplystep condition closereqsstep condition condition conditionstep condition
  24. 24. REPOSITORYMANAGEMENT SYSTEMFrameMaker 10 or newer Plug-ins: InsetPlus, XRef Wizard, FrameSLT, AXCM Built-in: ExtendScript ( based on JavaScript )Repository files contain reuse items InsetPlus pulls content into chapter files (text insets) Chapter contains mix of reused and non-reused content Authoring and publishing processes are not changed
  25. 25. ADOBE EXTENDSCRIPT
  26. 26. FILLING A REPOSITORY
  27. 27. }
  28. 28. LINKED TO REPOSITORY
  29. 29. ONGOING PROCESS
  30. 30. CHANGING CONTENT
  31. 31. CREATING NEW BOOKS
  32. 32. PUBLICATION PROCESSRepository
  33. 33. CONCLUSION
  34. 34. FIT FOR THE FUTURE
  35. 35. THANK YOU

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