Getting comfortable with Keys

Though the use of keys for indirect referencing has been in DITA since 1.2, many users find them conceptually challenging and difficult to design and implement. The use of keys can greatly enhance reuse and re-purposing of DITA content, though they need to be carefully designed for the best results.

This presentation will provide a pragmatic introduction to using key-based referencing, illustrated with concrete sample topics and maps that clarify the concepts and the methodology for implementing them.

What can the audience expect to learn?

Keys are a challenging concept to ‘grok’, especially for those relatively new to DITA, who need a basic understanding of them, and good examples, in order to develop the confidence to attempt including them as part of their content architecture strategy. I think this presentation will provide a clear introduction to keys in a way that gives users both an understanding of why they’re useful, and the confidence to begin using them.

Meet the presenter

Nancy Harrison of Infobridge Solutions has been working as an information architect since the early 1990’s. One of the original developers of DocBook, and a member of the initial SIG that developed XML, she was a member of IBM’s DITA architecture team from 2003-2007 and an original member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee. She continues to be a member of the TC, and is currently TC secretary.

Nancy specializes in working with organizations that want to move from an unstructured to a structured content model. She leads efforts to model content and workflow, select tools, enable localization, and set up publishing pipelines. She also trains authors in topic-based content design, and develops publishing stylesheets.

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