Is Markup Mentoring for Me?

Ongoing content audits, or – as we prefer to call it – markup mentoring bridges the gap from your DITA plan to your DITA implementation.  Semantic markup mentoring will increase the effectiveness of your DITA content, reduce long term maintenance costs for content, and enable support for the fullest range of current and future publishing needs.

In the information architecture stage a  lot of thought is given to a range of factors, including:

  • what topic types should be used (machine industry tasks or strict task topic types, for example),
  • what specializations may be needed (<sku>?, troubleshooting topic?),
  • selecting semantically appropriate tags (<menucascade> and <uicontrol>),
  • choosing elements that will enable fastest content creation and best presentation(<dl>, <table>, within an image, <title> or <desc>, nesting <ul> within <p), and more),
  • enabling reuse(through appropriate use of variables, keyref, conref and more)
  • applying conditions to enable focused content limited to “need to know”, without destroying writer productivity
  • developing a related information approach using relationship tables and other mechanisms
  • planning for minimizing translation cost and enabling pain free translation

Markup mentoring will help you and your writers successfully bridge from information architecture to robust semantically correct markup. The bottom line: we recommend markup mentoring to get the best results from your DITA implementation.