Key Concept Archive

Structured Authoring for Beginners

Are you new to structured authoring and topic-based writing? Are you more comfortable with unstructured desktop publishing applications and apprehensive about moving to XML or some other structured authoring environment? This workshop is for you if you want to know the how, why, and what it is about structured authoring…

Topic Based Writing: Future-Proofing Your Content?

This is what we’ll cover: Topic-Based writing: the basics The nature of a topic Topic morphology: title, short description (optionally) and content The importance of conceptual consistency Topic-Based writing: content creation and management Standing alone versus story telling A theory of content architecture? Relationship to DITA and structured writing Governance…

How to find the best content management system (or any other tool)

b Post Summary In this article, I hope I can convince you to gather requirements before you buy. It’s the only way to guarantee that you find the best content management system for you. Not for someone else. FOR YOU. Whenever you’re looking to buy more than a simple retail…

Publish High-Quality, Print-Ready DITA in less than a day

b Post Summary Everyone says, “Publishing DITA is Hard!” But the truth is you can publish DITA content for ePub and Print output with very little work. The promise that vendors (like us) have been giving for 20 years is real today. I published Arbortext 101 in less than one day for…

Key Referencing – The Key to Reuse

Topic based content enables organizations to piece content together to fit different customer needs. But often times this content can’t be shared and reused to its full potential because it contains product names, specific values, screenshots, links, or other content that would be out of place in another context. This…

Unhappy Customers are Just the Beginning: Potential Costs of Skimping on Documentation

A perennial question in the technical communication community is how to justify our work in financial terms that management will understand. One partial answer is to consider potential consequences of putting insufficient resources into technical documentation. What happens if the material is poorly written, or not written at all? Consequences…

The Power of Single-Sourcing

Every day, technical communications professionals are faced with maintaining their current productivity in the face of increasing product complexity, increasing number of languages, increasing volume of documentation, increasing product overlap and shorter product life cycles. No matter how large or small, how new or how old your company is, or…

Transforming content strategies to component content management

Your information content is a critical business asset. It is a key differentiator of you, your organization, and what you have to offer customers. For some, it is the first introduction you have to potential new customers and for the rest an integral tool in retaining and expanding your existing…

Podcast Posted: Interview with Barry Schaeffer

This month’s interview is with a legend in the industry: Barry Schaeffer. Anyone who’s been in the SGML/XML industry for any length of time knows Barry Schaeffer. Barry is a frequent speaker and contributor on subjects related to information and content management. His work with structured information began in 1979…

What characteristics do you need in an XML publishing system?

I took a trip through the wayback machine and found an old article that had been published on Arbortext.com. Reading through it, I found a lot of key points that are still very relevant today. No single product is for every situation, but these guidelines are generally good advice. We…