Re: DITA and Controlled languages

Subject: Re: DITA and Controlled languages
From: Scott Abel <abelsp -at- netdirect -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 14:30:12 -0400

Actually, DITA and controlled vocabularies have everything to do with one another.

For instance, you might choose a controlled language to help you reduce unneeded translation expense (DITA can help you with that too - see Content Management and the World Enterprise, November 27 in Boston - Bernard Aschwanden presents on this topic - or to help minimize risk of lawsuits affiliated with translation mishaps and other content usability and consistency issues (DITA totally helps with this), or to control and prevent your authors from deviating from the proscribed vocabulary you choose (industry, scientific discipline, or corporate jargon).

A controlled vocabulary not only provides you with the ability to guide authors in the right direction (selecting accurate and appropriate words), they can also be used to prevent undesirable terminology usage by "controlling" what words are not allowed to be used. DITA can be used to do similar things -- guide authors, prevent deviation, and help us manage our content production tasks.

These reasons may, as Eric pointed out, have something to do with the audience or industry requirements, but controlled vocabularies also may be used for "management" issues. Management, according to Webster's is all about control. To say that one has absolutely nothing to do with the other, is, terribly inaccurate and not my experience at all.

Your mileage may likely vary.

New Contact Information

The Content Wrangler, Inc.
Scott Abel, CEO
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Office: +1 (317) 466.1840 Skype: abelsp
abelsp -at- netdirect -dot- net

"A.H." <isaac840 -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote on 09/18/2006 03:43:29 PM:
If you use one, do you have to use the other? Do
they naturally compliment each other?

One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
You chose Simplified or controlled language because of audience or
industry requirements, you chose DITA or another structured architecture
fot production or management reasons.

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer


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