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in 37 minutes<br />Episode 9Customizing Content with DITA Conditional Text<br />Su-Laine Yeo, Solutions Consultant<br />Ju...
Conditional text with the DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) XML language<br />Practical steps for using condit...
Customization and content reuse<br />Reuse lets you deliver customized content without duplicating it<br />Approaches:<br ...
What is conditional text?<br />“Conditional text” refers to:<br />The practice of marking up the content in a single sourc...
Conditional text <br />Marking up the content in a single source file, so you can create deliverables with different subse...
attribute<br />attribute value<br />Under the covers: XML<br />A paragraph that is not conditional:<br /><p>Press Ctrl+S.<...
Steps for using conditional text<br />Plan<br />Make a list of your audiences, products, and platforms that require simila...
<ul><li>Make lists: </li></ul>What product variations are similar enough they could be documented through one set of sourc...
Step 2: Define conditional attribute values<br />Edit the XMetaL ditabase_ct_config.xml file. <br />This file is installed...
Distribute settings files<br />You can standardize conditions within a team by distributing the ditabase_ct_config.xmlfile...
Style conditional text<br />You'll want to be able to keep track of conditions when you are writing, preferably in real-ti...
Configure styling<br />Styling affects what you see in XMetaL, not in output<br />Click Reuse > Style Conditional Text.<br />
To make content conditional:<br />Click in an element, or select some text<br />Click Reuse > Apply/Remove Conditions<br /...
Under the covers<br />Content for Windows only:<br /><p platform="windows">Press Ctrl+S.</p><br />Content for Windows and ...
What content can you make conditional?<br />Yes:<br />Text<br />Images<br />Cross-references<br />Index markers<br />Table...
Table columns
Required elements (you can conditionalize text within required elements)</li></li></ul><li><ph> element<br />If you make s...
Best practices<br />To make a whole topic conditional, conditionalize the corresponding topic referencein the DITA map fil...
Step 4: Generate conditional output<br />In XMetaL: File > Generate Output<br />Choose what platforms, products, and audie...
What about DITAVAL files?<br /><prop att="platform" val="macintosh" action="exclude"/><br />You don’t need to write one. X...
Multiple Condition Types<br />
Multiple condition types<br />Say you have:<br />Three platforms: “Windows” and “Macintosh” and "Unix"<br />Two audience t...
How DITA handles multiple condition types<br />For an element marked as audience = “Europe”  and platform = “windows”<br /...
Multiple condition types: the rule<br />In this example: Content must be for both the right platform and the right audienc...
OR it matches at least one value that should be included. </li></li></ul><li>Of the 4 steps, planning is the most challeng...
DITA attributes<br />DITA attributes for conditional text are:<br />product<br />platform<br />audience<br />otherprops<br...
Example<br />You are documenting a product with Macintosh, Windows, and Unix versions<br />For this example:<br />the attr...
List the attributes, and values of each attribute, that you want to use.<br />These will go into your ct_config.xml file<b...
Summary: Why DITA for conditional text?<br />Scalable:<br />Handles multiple condition types well<br />Easily standardized...
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Customizing Content with DITA Conditional Text and XMetaL

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With XMetaL and DITA, you can create documents customized for various audiences, products, and platforms from a single set of source files. XMetaL includes a sophisticated and easy-to-use set of features for applying consistent tags to conditionalize content, for color-coding conditional text in authoring views, and for generating customized output. In this webinar, we’ll take a close look at how to set up and use conditional text in DITA with XMetaL.

A recording of the webinar is here:
https://justsystems.webex.com/justsystems/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=EC&rID=43143747&rKey=8e21588799156c20

Published in: Technology

Customizing Content with DITA Conditional Text and XMetaL

  1. 1. in 37 minutes<br />Episode 9Customizing Content with DITA Conditional Text<br />Su-Laine Yeo, Solutions Consultant<br />July 15, 2010<br />
  2. 2. Conditional text with the DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) XML language<br />Practical steps for using conditional text in XMetaL Author Enterprise<br />Fairly detailed level, but not difficult<br />Specific examples<br />Not using DITA? Keep watching, and also come back for our next 37-minute webinar on July 29<br />Today’s webinar<br />
  3. 3. Customization and content reuse<br />Reuse lets you deliver customized content without duplicating it<br />Approaches:<br />Modular reuse:<br />reusing whole topics<br />content references (conref) to reuse phrases and parts of topics<br />Conditional text<br />
  4. 4. What is conditional text?<br />“Conditional text” refers to:<br />The practice of marking up the content in a single source file, so you can create deliverables with different subsets of the file.<br />The contentthat is marked up so you can filter it out of some deliverables. In DITA,conditional "text" can be words, images, tables, index markers, links, etc.<br />
  5. 5. Conditional text <br />Marking up the content in a single source file, so you can create deliverables with different subsets of the file.<br />E.g. Windows-only content (Ctrl+S) and Macintosh-only content (Command+S)<br />
  6. 6. attribute<br />attribute value<br />Under the covers: XML<br />A paragraph that is not conditional:<br /><p>Press Ctrl+S.</p><br />A paragraph that applies to the Windows platform only:<br /><p platform = "windows">Press Ctrl+S.</p><br />
  7. 7. Steps for using conditional text<br />Plan<br />Make a list of your audiences, products, and platforms that require similar documentation<br />Configure<br />Configure the system to use the conditions you want<br />Style conditional content so that you can keep track of it when writing<br />Write<br />Mark content as conditional<br />Generate output<br />Choose a particular product/platform/audience combination<br />
  8. 8. <ul><li>Make lists: </li></ul>What product variations are similar enough they could be documented through one set of source files?<br />What audiences do you want to customize documentation for?<br />Example for today’s webinar: two platforms<br />A software application that has different keyboard shortcuts for Macintosh and Windows platforms<br />Step 1: Plan<br />
  9. 9. Step 2: Define conditional attribute values<br />Edit the XMetaL ditabase_ct_config.xml file. <br />This file is installed in your C:Program FilesXMetaL 6.0AuthorConditional Textconfigs folder.<br /> <attribute name="platform" title="Platform"><br /> <value name="windows" title="Windows" /><br /> <value name="macintosh" title="Macintosh" /><br /> </attribute><br />
  10. 10. Distribute settings files<br />You can standardize conditions within a team by distributing the ditabase_ct_config.xmlfile.<br />When you start XMetaL, XMetaL automatically configures its Conditional Text dialogs to use the values in this file.<br />
  11. 11. Style conditional text<br />You'll want to be able to keep track of conditions when you are writing, preferably in real-time via color-coding.<br />
  12. 12. Configure styling<br />Styling affects what you see in XMetaL, not in output<br />Click Reuse > Style Conditional Text.<br />
  13. 13. To make content conditional:<br />Click in an element, or select some text<br />Click Reuse > Apply/Remove Conditions<br />Step 3: Write<br />
  14. 14. Under the covers<br />Content for Windows only:<br /><p platform="windows">Press Ctrl+S.</p><br />Content for Windows and Macintosh, but not Unix:<br /><p platform="windows macintosh">Press Ctrl+S.</p><br />Content for all platforms:<br /><p>Press Ctrl+S.</p><br />
  15. 15. What content can you make conditional?<br />Yes:<br />Text<br />Images<br />Cross-references<br />Index markers<br />Tables<br />Rows in tables<br />Content within content references<br />Topic references in DITA maps<br />No:<br /><ul><li>Individual table cells
  16. 16. Table columns
  17. 17. Required elements (you can conditionalize text within required elements)</li></li></ul><li><ph> element<br />If you make selected text conditional, XMetaL inserts <ph> tags so it can “hang” attributes on the <ph> element.<br />
  18. 18. Best practices<br />To make a whole topic conditional, conditionalize the corresponding topic referencein the DITA map file.<br />Do not conditionalize content that is "common to all." <br />If an element is common to all deliverables, do not put conditional attributes on it.<br />If an element is common to all products, do not put any "product" attributes on it. <br />If your content will be translated, it is safest to conditionalize entire sentences, not parts of sentences.<br />
  19. 19. Step 4: Generate conditional output<br />In XMetaL: File > Generate Output<br />Choose what platforms, products, and audiences you want to include<br />
  20. 20. What about DITAVAL files?<br /><prop att="platform" val="macintosh" action="exclude"/><br />You don’t need to write one. XMetaL generates the DITAVAL file automatically:<br />
  21. 21. Multiple Condition Types<br />
  22. 22. Multiple condition types<br />Say you have:<br />Three platforms: “Windows” and “Macintosh” and "Unix"<br />Two audience types: “Europe” and “North America”<br />
  23. 23. How DITA handles multiple condition types<br />For an element marked as audience = “Europe” and platform = “windows”<br />*Would appear if you used native FrameMaker® conditions instead of DITA<br />
  24. 24. Multiple condition types: the rule<br />In this example: Content must be for both the right platform and the right audience in order to be included.<br />The general rule: An element is included if, for each conditional attribute:<br /><ul><li>It doesn't have any values for that attribute, i.e. it is "common to all"
  25. 25. OR it matches at least one value that should be included. </li></li></ul><li>Of the 4 steps, planning is the most challenging:<br />Plan<br />Configure<br />Write<br />Generate output<br />Putting it into practice<br />
  26. 26. DITA attributes<br />DITA attributes for conditional text are:<br />product<br />platform<br />audience<br />otherprops<br />For anything else, including other audience types<br />props <br />Create new attributes by specializing the “props” attribute<br />
  27. 27. Example<br />You are documenting a product with Macintosh, Windows, and Unix versions<br />For this example:<br />the attribute you need is "platform".<br />you will allow the values of the platform attribute to be "Macintosh", "Windows", and "Unix".<br />
  28. 28. List the attributes, and values of each attribute, that you want to use.<br />These will go into your ct_config.xml file<br />Do not overload the “audience” attribute:<br />E.g. have an “audience_skill_level” attribute and a “audience_region” attribute. Do not put your lists of skill levels and regions all into the “audience” attribute.<br />Make lists<br />
  29. 29. Summary: Why DITA for conditional text?<br />Scalable:<br />Handles multiple condition types well<br />Easily standardized across a team<br />Standards-based:<br />Multiple output formats <br />Can work with dynamic content delivery systems<br />Within reach:<br />No programming needed<br />Does not require a sophisticated CMS or publishing system <br />
  30. 30. Q&A<br /><ul><li>Contact Su-Laine at: syeo at justsystems dot com
  31. 31. Today’s slides are at http://www.slideshare.net/XMetaL</li></ul>contactsales-na@justsystems.com<br />1-866-793-1542<br />

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