10 thoughts on “Killing XML authoring with IBM apples

  1. Very insightful and interesting post. I’m actually working on a WordPress publishing strategy for my DITA content right now, testing it out in a pilot implementation. I agree 100% with all your points here, and am particularly in agreement that editing on the fly, sharing information, collaborating, etc., are all key aspects of information exchange that structured authoring is well-suited for. If you keep at eye on my site, in the next few days/weeks I’ll be exploring how to publish DITA content into WordPress.

    • Hi Tom! Haha, you beat me to the punch. Through an STC-related tweet, I just caught your recent posts on tool diversity earlier today, and in addition to my quick pingback, I planned a more formal reply with some of my darker DITA conclusions from my own recent post. But I’m glad to hear that my thoughts rang true to someone with your experience and influence! In fact, about 6 months ago, I also discussed your fascinating reassessment of Mike Little’s aging DITA-to-WordPress import tool. So I’m definitely looking forward to your next DITA-to-WordPress exploration. Eyes peeled!

      • The main difficulty in converting from DITA to WP is figuring out page order. Little’s tool only manages hierarchy, not order within hierarchy.

        No doubt page order can be added in as an enhancement to the tool, but the larger problem is that the massive TOC isn’t the same paradigm on the web. I plan to use the Ubermenu Megamenu plugin to provide a better navigation experience, but I am not sure how to map this programmatically since the Ubermenu plugin creates code specific to page IDs. Anyway, I’ll flesh out more details in the coming weeks.

      • [Thanks for the tip on controlling the number of nested replies!]

        While I won’t pretend to understand the full context, I like how juicy this problem sounds. If I had a two-cent thought to offer, I was going to ask about inserting numeric prefixes into the DITA topic IDs as a possible way to order pages. But if the UberMenu plugin only looks at the page IDs, then even if you converted numeric topic IDs into numeric page slugs, UberMenu wouldn’t recognize the slugs anyway. Hmm. Either way, you’ve now inspired me to look into the plugin and UberMenu in general. So I’ll be better prepared for your discoveries. Good luck! :)

  2. Thanks for the interesting post. This is a big area of interest for me.

    I have some question on the graphical layout of the post, which confuses me. There are a lot of orange links followed by gray boxes. Do these gray boxes have quotes taken from the orange links? Are some of them your own words quoted from your own posts?

    Also, there are many graphics of Apple logos and IBM logos repeated, with no explanation that I could find. I clicked on a few of them and they just went to larger versions. Are these repeated for graphic effect? Or is there some other reason?


    • Hi Mark, you’re welcome! Oh, no problem. The orange links point to the source of the quotes in the gray boxes. These sources might be an external site or one of my own posts. If it’s an external link, I typically add the owner at the beginning of the link. For example, for the link “IBM: What is big data?”, the external source is IBM. Meanwhile, if there’s no owner in the link, it’s probably one of my posts. On other posts, I might explicitly mention the sources too.

      The primary reason for this layout is for flow. Personally, I like to show my cards on the table, instead of forcing readers including myself to jump or dodge hoops. Then I can present my thoughts based on the context and flow of these cards. Secondly, if a site disappears, I still have a record of its text, so the flow remains intact. Now regarding the graphics, I had a lot of fun creating them, but I couldn’t decide on which to cut out. So I guess it was a bit of selfish indulgence. Haha, plus they look cool too! Thanks for your interest and curiosity!

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