Where Source Development Meets Documentation or, Efficiency is in the Tools

Presentation to CMS/DITA NA 2005

With only a small amount of custom tools, Juniper Networks has managed to do convert documents to multiple formats from one initial set of XML source documents and a single publishing workflow using PTC’s Arbortext Epic Editor and E3 Publishing Server. These tools have included post-processing add-ons to create .PDB and .LIT binary files and source files that are aggregated directly into the software source code for their proprietary routing platforms.

Recycling content is not a new concept. What is new here is the common back-end structure in XML form and the fact that more than one set of tools, including small, mission-critical custom tools that are explicitly focused on the specific needs of a given project. There is no longer any need for one tool to address all of the needs of every company that purchases a license. Instead we have a community of tools that is easy to expand or customize without long term lock in or breaking of the model.

Continue reading “Where Source Development Meets Documentation or, Efficiency is in the Tools”

Beyond Theory: Making Single-Sourcing Actually Work

“Beyond Theory: Making Single-Sourcing Actually Work”
Presented by: Liz Fraley, Single-Sourcing Solutions, Inc. (formerly: Juniper Networks)
Audience: Developers

In this paper, I discuss how we made single-sourcing work at Juniper Networks. This is a practical discussion of issues, problems, and successes.

This paper provides a case study in single-sourcing, examining how the Technical Publications group at Juniper Networks has been implementing single-sourcing. In the past three years, there has been much theory about single-sourcing, but not enough practice. The literature is full of information about single sourcing from a theoretical perspective. So, this paper is more about what isn’t covered in the literature than what is.

For example, it’s not about how to choose a tool or evaluate a product, how to code XML, how to get cost savings through single-sourcing, how to write modularly, or how to structure your documentation. And it isn’t about amazing product features, the Juniper Document Definition, the Juniper-specific applications that we developed. Most importantly, this paper is not a set of generalized rules for making single-sourcing work. It is one long a concrete example because, in the end, that is what the developer of a single-sourcing system needs to see. And interestingly enough, it’s what the users of that single-sourcing system need to see, too.

Presented by: Liz Fraley, Single-Sourcing Solutions, Inc.

Presented at: Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group for Design of Communication Conference 2003 (SIGDOC 2003)

Presentation materials: