When Topic Reuse Isn’t Enough

DITA is designed for reuse and most content creators do not find it too difficult to understand how basic maps and reusable topics can make their content more efficient. However, there are always those “almost the same” topics for which DITA reuse is not quite so obvious. For this and other sub-topic reuse scenarios, DITA provides plenty of power but no one simple solution. This session discusses reuse options and proposes a strategy for incrementally folding in best practices as needed. Techniques such as ditaval filtering, relationship tables, conrefs, keyrefs, and conkeyrefs are evaluated for strengths and weaknesses relative to the unique characteristics of an organization’s content. A few detailed DITA examples provide starter templates for application to an existing content structure.

What can the audience expect to learn?

DITA practitioners will be able to identify reuse land mines, implement best practices to avoid them, and increase the value that reuse brings to their DITA content.

Meet the presenter

Roger Hadley has led teams in DITA projects ranging from converting content and training for beginning DITA teams to implementing authoring enhancements and establishing best practices for experienced DITA teams. With 15 years of structured content experience, Roger is a Senior Technical Communicator at Fiserv where he oversees a complex set of content in support of financial services systems. This includes developing and maintaining XSL to convert API content from Confluence wiki to DITA. Roger also provides leadership to his team by analyzing content problems and crafting solutions.

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