Re: Resources for learning Structured Writing?

Subject: Re: Resources for learning Structured Writing?
From: Yves Barbion <yves -dot- barbion -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:09:51 +0200

Hi Steven

Depends on how you define "resource", but we teach exactly what you're
describing: style-based, topic-oriented structured authoring. Basically, we
define "structured authoring" as a "way of writing in which one or more
authors use a common, controlled set of components of an information
model". These "components can be:

- âStylesâ (Word) or âformatsâ (FrameMaker) in a non-XML environment
- âElementsâ in XML

In our structured authoring classes (, we teach:

- The best practices of structured authoring
- Information types

We use information models and templates based on DITA, but we don't
"expose" the students to XML or any of the technical details of DITA. The
purpose of this approach is exactly what you describe too:

- If people want to move to DITA later, they will already be familiar
with some of the DITA concepts, information models and information types
and they can then focus on the "XML-side" of DITA and learn how to develop
DITA-structured content:
- If people do not want to move to DITA, no problem, they will have
learned the basics and best practices of structured authoring, which they
can apply in any authoring environment (text editors, wikis, web content...)

By the way, DITA was not really developed "in response to Information
Mapping". This is a common misunderstanding because both methodologies are
based on the same scientific research and principles, for example:,_Plus_or_Minus_Two

(I was an Information Mapping instructor at my previous company).

If you're interested in having more details about our course offerings,
feel free to contact me off-list.


Yves Barbion
Managing Director
DITA instructor

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Resources for learning Structured Writing?: From: Janoff, Steven
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