Keys Applied: Practical strategies for designing, using, and managing DITA Keys

Keys are great…until you have 3000 of them. As teams discover more and more uses for keys in their DITA content, they can find themselves in a state of key overload. When authoring DITA content, keys become difficult to find and their behavior difficult to predict. When publishing DITA content, key errors start filling the logs and troubleshooting frustrations multiply. If you have ever considered stripping out all your keys and starting over, or if you are at the beginning stages of implementing keys, this presentation is for you. A strategy is outlined that helps you clarify your content design goals in order to identify the best long-term solution…to key or not to key. Then, based on the role of keys in your content, you can plan your keys with authoring usability and long-term maintenance in mind. A survey of the roles that keys play in different content designs is presented, with real-world examples and demonstrations.

What can the audience expect to learn?

This presentation is for beginning to intermediate DITA practitioners. Those that are seriously evaluating or have recently adopted DITA will gain an understanding of some potential land mines associated with keys and learn ways to avoid them. Those that have been in the DITA trenches for awhile and are having problems with keys will gain an understanding of how they got there and get some ideas for digging themselves out.

Meet the presenter

Roger Hadley has led teams in a wide range of DITA projects. Projects include converting content, DITA start-up training, implementing authoring enhancements, and establishing best practices, for both beginning and advanced 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 with accompanying authoring environment support.

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