Single-source publishing with git and grit

The Zenoss Platform Docs team of three writers produces documentation for Zenoss Service Dynamics, the leading hybrid IT monitoring platform. In addition to the flagship product, our team supports an open-source version of the platform; an open-source application service orchestrator, based on Docker; and multiple OEM partners. Four years ago, two writers inherited 12 related but independent Docbook publications stored in Subversion. Three years ago, we hired consultants to create document shells, migrate the Docbook source to DITA 1.2 and git (GitHub) repositories, and customize our PDF and HTML output. Since then, we’ve added and subtracted publications, adopted and discarded strategies for storing content in git, and migrated to DITA 1.3. We now publish 32 documents in PDF and HTML5 and reuse content easily.

What can the audience expect to learn?

Learn how a tiny team with a small budget was able accomplish a great deal using DITA without a CMS. The presentation reviews the tools, processes, and content storage strategies our team employed, shows our transformation from git-fearing to git-loving writers, and explores our hopes for DITA 1.3.

Meet the presenter


Greg Emil earned a bachelor’s degree and studied technical writing long ago and has 30 years of experience in various technical communications roles. Greg had the good fortune (misfortune?) to have his first mentor tell him, “A little knowledge goes a long way.” Since that day, Greg has been sliding down the slippery slope—is there any other kind?—of knowledge, leaving a trail of discarded technical books along the way. In his spare time, Greg reads science fiction, leads a group of movie lovers to this movie and that, cooks, and learns.

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