Using Task Modeler to Streamline DITA Content Development  Mark E. Wallis Senior Information Developer User Experience group
Overview <ul><li>IBM ISS transition to DITA </li></ul><ul><li>Task Support Clusters, our architectural approach </li></ul>...
UX Information Development Mission <ul><li>Support a high-quality user experience by providing information:   </li></ul><u...
Why We Chose DITA   <ul><li>Not just because it was developed at IBM </li></ul><ul><li>We didn’t just drink the Blue Kool-...
Task Support Clusters <ul><li>Provides critical conceptual, task, and reference info  </li></ul><ul><li>Self contained </l...
Dimensions of Coverage Shallow but broad: core tasks with supporting concepts
Dimensions of Coverage Some clusters fully developed: core tasks plus reference
Dimensions of Coverage All clusters fully developed: core tasks plus reference plus deep concepts
Waterfall Iterations QA drop Beta GA
The DITA Toolset <ul><li>Task Modeler (free) helps with mechanics </li></ul><ul><li>DITA-compliant editor to edit topics  ...
What Task Modeler Lets You Do <ul><li>Visually build and manage ditamaps (structure of topics) </li></ul><ul><li>Develop t...
Task Modeler Demo
 
Task Modeler and DITA Editor Workflow <ul><li>Create workspace (once) </li></ul><ul><li>Create new project  </li></ul><ul>...
Workflow Tips and Techniques <ul><li>Close the ditamap in your DITA editor before making changes and saving in Task Modele...
Resources <ul><li>Task Modeler  http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/taskmodeler </li></ul><ul><li>Anatomy of a Help File (T...
- Fin -  MarkWallis@us.ibm.com  [email_address]
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Using Task Modeler to Streamline DITA Content Development

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Presented by Mark Wallis at Documentation and Training West, May 6-9, 2008 in Vancouver, BC

Mark E. Wallis of IBM Internet Security Systems will demonstrate the primary development tools that IBM uses for DITA, the Darwin Information Typing Architecture. The tools include Task Modeler (a free tool), Arbortext Editor (which requires licensing), and compiler (an open source tool).

If you expect to be working with DITA, this is a great opportunity to get a feel for the process and learn how to streamline your work effort.

Task Modeler is a powerful tool for prototyping and development. Come see a demonstration of how you can use Task Modeler to:

* Develop and manage ditamaps
* Develop what we call Task Support Clusters (a group of topics that provides critical conceptual, task, and reference info about a particular application page)
* Build relationship tables that determine what related links appear in a DITA topic
* Generate stubbed (skeleton) DITA topics

You’ll also learn how to use a DITA-compliant editor such as Arbortext Editor to develop your content and you’ll see the compile process in action.

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Using Task Modeler to Streamline DITA Content Development

  1. 1. Using Task Modeler to Streamline DITA Content Development Mark E. Wallis Senior Information Developer User Experience group
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>IBM ISS transition to DITA </li></ul><ul><li>Task Support Clusters, our architectural approach </li></ul><ul><li>Task Modeler strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Task Modeler demo </li></ul><ul><li>Task Modeler workflow </li></ul>
  3. 3. UX Information Development Mission <ul><li>Support a high-quality user experience by providing information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>at the time of need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>at the point of need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with minimal disruption to the user’s task flow </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Iterative releases of user assistance during development </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why We Chose DITA <ul><li>Not just because it was developed at IBM </li></ul><ul><li>We didn’t just drink the Blue Kool-Aid ® </li></ul><ul><li>It represents best practices in Information Development and User Assistance </li></ul>
  5. 5. Task Support Clusters <ul><li>Provides critical conceptual, task, and reference info </li></ul><ul><li>Self contained </li></ul><ul><li>Not linked to other clusters; avoids link farms </li></ul><ul><li>Minimalistic approach </li></ul>
  6. 6. Dimensions of Coverage Shallow but broad: core tasks with supporting concepts
  7. 7. Dimensions of Coverage Some clusters fully developed: core tasks plus reference
  8. 8. Dimensions of Coverage All clusters fully developed: core tasks plus reference plus deep concepts
  9. 9. Waterfall Iterations QA drop Beta GA
  10. 10. The DITA Toolset <ul><li>Task Modeler (free) helps with mechanics </li></ul><ul><li>DITA-compliant editor to edit topics </li></ul><ul><li>Build tools (part of open source toolkit) </li></ul>
  11. 11. What Task Modeler Lets You Do <ul><li>Visually build and manage ditamaps (structure of topics) </li></ul><ul><li>Develop topics for task support clusters </li></ul><ul><li>Build relationship tables that define relationship links between topics </li></ul><ul><li>Generate stubbed (skeleton) DITA topics </li></ul>
  12. 12. Task Modeler Demo
  13. 14. Task Modeler and DITA Editor Workflow <ul><li>Create workspace (once) </li></ul><ul><li>Create new project </li></ul><ul><li>Create new ditamap </li></ul><ul><li>Configure views </li></ul><ul><li>Create topics </li></ul><ul><li>Create parent-child relationships between topics </li></ul><ul><li>Generate stub files </li></ul><ul><li>Create relationship table for related links </li></ul><ul><li>Save ditamap </li></ul><ul><li>Open ditamap in editor </li></ul><ul><li>Edit topics to add content and metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Generate a CHM file or other Help file </li></ul>
  14. 15. Workflow Tips and Techniques <ul><li>Close the ditamap in your DITA editor before making changes and saving in Task Modeler </li></ul><ul><li>Use prefix for files when stubbing topics to group your task support cluster (m_dhcp_) </li></ul><ul><li>When doing large builds, open the Windows Task Manager – Performance Tab. Watch CPU usage to make sure Apache Ant is still alive. </li></ul><ul><li>Use your DITA editor to build master ditamaps of secondary ditamaps </li></ul><ul><li>Consider using my batch file for combined ditamap builds </li></ul><ul><li>Use your DITA editor to create combination topics </li></ul>
  15. 16. Resources <ul><li>Task Modeler http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/taskmodeler </li></ul><ul><li>Anatomy of a Help File (Task Support Clusters) http://uxmatters.com/MT/archives/000190.php </li></ul><ul><li>Task Modeler Workflow, Tips, and Techniques (PDF handout) </li></ul><ul><li>2008 DocTrain West Conference http://www.doctrain.com/west/ </li></ul>
  16. 17. - Fin - MarkWallis@us.ibm.com [email_address]

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