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Transition to XML


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Simon Bate provides a planning framework for implementing an XML-based structured authoring environment.

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Transition to XML

  1. 1. M anaging theTransition to XM L Simon Bate Scriptorium Publishing
  2. 2. A bout meSimon BateSr. Technical Consultant at ScriptoriumCertified Technical Trainer30+ years Tech Comm experience5 years of DITA and DITA OT experience
  3. 3. A bout ScriptoriumContent Strategy for Technical CommunicationAnalyzeDevelop strategyImplementTransformTrain
  4. 4. O verviewWhat to expectWhat NOT to doWhat to do (12-step plan)
  5. 5. What to expect...
  6. 6. C hanges to authoring processTopic-based authoringPossible to use structure without topics But you miss the big win (re-use) Difficult to store in CCMSUnstructured legacy content Might be transformable But perhaps not
  7. 7. C hanging Roles and SkillsLess demand for: Production editors Template expertsMore demand for: XSLT experts XSL-FO experts Developmental editors Content librarians/curators
  8. 8. Tool changesNew editors for structured content Keep day-to-day use in mindWYSIOO “What You See Is One Option”MetadataExpect a loss of productivity during transition
  9. 9. C reating graphics is differentIn XML, graphics are separateXML editors have no integrated toolsOutput has limited support for some formatsExciting possibilities in XML graphics SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) MathML
  10. 10. C reating new output formatsSimilar to creating a new template But there are differencesMust modify or create new transformationsMake transformation available in outputFormatting “just works” No additional DTP work to fit text
  11. 11. C omponent C ontentM anagement SystemManages topics Check in/check out Access controlCreates labelsGenerates outputPerforms faceted searchesHelps with re-use “Which output uses?” search
  12. 12. Training and educationTraining Content creators Information systemsEducation New processes Spread the word Any team you interact with Includes management
  13. 13. Set management expectationsIncludes IT CCMS may require their supportWhen cost savings will occurGet them thinking What can you do with the XML that you couldnt do before?
  14. 14. Set your expectationsStructured authoring isnt for everyoneSome content creators will get upsetSome will come aroundOthers will leave
  15. 15. M oving to structure...
  16. 16. What not to do:Pick a content model (by what criteria?)Pick a tool (does it match your deliverables?)Train the writers on the tool (theyre the only ones who need to know?)Convert (should be a 1:1 mapping, right?)Go! (fail)
  17. 17. 12-Step Plan...Content strategy Legacy strategyRoles TrainingMilestones DocumentationStructure analysis Change managementStructure definition Transition supportPilot Evaluation
  18. 18. Step 1:C reate a content strategyGoals and metricsStrategyTacticsDeliverables (type, media, frequency, audience)Tool-specific requirements or constraints
  19. 19. Step 2:D efine roles and responsibilitiesWho does what in transitionRoles include: Education Development Review ApprovalIf using consultants Establish who does what
  20. 20. Step 3:Establish milestonesSchedule creates accountability No schedule = low priorityHelps maintain scopeInclude slack for delays Reviewer availability
  21. 21. Step 4:Perform structure analysisUnderstand what is in your content and how pieces fit togetherHelps you choose or create content modelDevelop taxonomy and metadataKeep your content strategy in mind Why does the content exist? What needs is it meeting?Consider future requirements
  22. 22. Step 5:Structure definition and outputEither: Choose architecture (DITA, S1000D, DocBook) Create architecture (DTD, schema)Modify authoring tool for architectureOutput transformations Before pilot, just one Either Most common Most risky Enough to test most assumptions
  23. 23. Step 6: PilotCandidate project Not largest or smallest Most representativePilot ensures Assumptions are correct Everyone is on the same page Groups are communicating clearly Time for course correctionRarely do pilots halt transitions
  24. 24. Step 7:D evelop legacy content strategyConsider conversion vs. re-writingDepends on the quality of the source contentConvert legacy documents if necessaryConsider “as-needed” strategy
  25. 25. Step 8:D evelop trainingBackground and rationaleStructured authoring and XMLUsing the authoring toolUsing the CMS Teach process, as well as the toolOther tools Graphics
  26. 26. Step 9:D evelop documentationBackground and rationaleStructure explanationsRecommended best practicesIn-depth technical doc (for developers)Formatting specifications
  27. 27. Step 10:C reate change managementprocessManaging changes in your systemSimilar to any system deploymentChanges will occur Structure changes New output Software upgradesTrack changesMake and distribute in an organized mannerScheduled changes vs. as-needed
  28. 28. Step 11:Provide transition supportContent creators ramp up to productionShift from development to maintenanceIf using contractors Ensure you have in-house knowledge Follow-on support agreement
  29. 29. Step 12:EvaluationValidate against goals and metricsReport to managementEnjoy what youve accomplishedNow...whats next?
  30. 30. SummaryContent strategy drives allSet expectationsPlan. Plan. Plan.Pilot helps with course correctionPlan for change
  31. 31. Q uestions?
  32. 32. C ontact informationSimon BateScriptorium Publishingwww.scriptorium.comsbate@scriptorium.comtwitter: @simonbate+1.919.433.2606