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Breitfelder Incorporating XML into a Standards Environment


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This presentation was provided by Kim Breitfelder of IEEE during the NISO event, XML for Standards Publishers, held on Monday, April 24, 2017 in Washington DC.

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Breitfelder Incorporating XML into a Standards Environment

  1. 1. Incorporating XML into a Standards Environment: False Starts, Successes, and Challenges Kim Breitfelder, IEEE-SA Director of Content, Production & Management NISO XML for Standards Publishers Symposium LoC, Washington, DC 24 April 2017
  2. 2. 2 IEEE: World’s Largest Professional Association Advancing Technology for Humanity 430,000+ Members 1,300+ Annual Conferences 190+ Countries 45 Technical Societies 160+ Periodicals Our Global Reach Our Technical Breadth 3,600,000+ Technical Documents
  3. 3. IEEE Standards Association Global standards sustain products and services for implementation and use by customers in a globalized world § Aerospace Electronics § Broadband Over Power Lines § Broadcast Technology § Clean Technology § Cognitive Radio § Design Automation § Electromagnetic Compatibility § Green Technology § LAN/MAN § Medical Device Communications § Nanotechnology § National Electrical Safety Code § Organic Components § Portable Battery Technology § Power Electronics § Power & Energy § Radiation/Nuclear § Reliability § Transportation Technology § Test Technology 3 Examples:
  4. 4. IEEE-SA Content Production & Management § Over 1,100 active standards § Team of seven, augmented by ICs § Publish about 120 standards/year § 5 – 5000+ pages; typically about 100 pages § Support 500 active working groups § Knowledge of standards developing process (consensus, risk, legal) § Standards professionals who do publishing vs. publishing professionals who do standards § NOT a part of IEEE Publishing (journals, transactions, etc.); coordination between the two groups. § Compatibility with IEEE Xplore. § A very small part of IEEE published content, but vitally important. 6
  5. 5. Questions ─ What factors make a standards authoring and publishing environment unique? ─ How do those factors ultimately dictate our choice of XML tools and workflow? What works? What doesn’t? 5
  6. 6. Variability in just about everything ¾ Volunteer author base − Divergent skill set—everyone one from people one step removed from a typewriter to computer geniuses. − “Boutique publisher” expectation; e.g., “I know your style is X, but my document needs Y.” − Vying for limited resources; e.g., “My document is more important than others.” ¾ Subject matter − A power engineering standard is very different from a software engineering standard. ¾ Length − 5 pages to 5000+ pages. 6 Additional factors ¾ Round trip for revision. ¾ Unique nature of a standards environment: Are we publishing professionals or standard professionals?
  7. 7. Three XML workflow options (we tried ‘em all!) ¾ XML Last: Post-production conversion to XML ¾ XML First: Content is created in XML environment ¾ XML Middle: XML created sometime during production 7
  8. 8. XML Last ¾ Post-production conversion to XML – Began in the 1990s (SGML) with an in-house DTD – Created “just in case” – Legacy conversion in 2015 Pros: – Relatively easy once the DTD is written, the vendor is set up, etc. – No impact on volunteers – Little impact on most staff Cons: – The XML is always later – No ability for single source publishing – Quality may not be high – QC is resource intensive 8
  9. 9. XML First ¾ Volunteers author in an online, collaborative XML environment with a stripped down DTD Pros: – Conceptually beautiful: Cloud-based CMS and XML editor – Enforces style – Provides good quality XML – Round trip problem completely goes away – Frees us all from MS Word – Suitable for single source publishing Cons: – Expensive—highly customized – Complex; many moving pieces – Limits of current technology – Unreasonable expectation on volunteers – Steep learning curve for staff – Huge burden on staff to train volunteers – Volunteer desire for exceptions in a system that dislikes exceptions 9
  10. 10. XML Middle. The “Just Right” solution ¾ XML Middle: XML created sometime during production Ø Transparency: We chose the eXtyles solution Pros: – Minimal impact to volunteers (can author in MS Word) – Allows round trip document to be returned for revision – Good quality XML – Allows for single source publishing – Updated, modernized tools and skills (“We’re not in the stone age anymore!”) – A solid, manageable move forward Cons: – Steep learning curve for staff—not always seeing the “big picture;” new tools; heightened rigidity in style – Emphasis from making the document look good to adding structure – Software snafus – Volunteer desire for exceptions in a system that dislikes exceptions – Round trip return document needs improvement 10
  11. 11. 11 Questions?