RE: Flare or Frame as an intermediary for migrating to DITA?

Subject: RE: Flare or Frame as an intermediary for migrating to DITA?
From: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com>
To: Chris Despopoulos <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2014 03:46:28 +0000

So two major tasks in a conversion, it sounds like: information architecture, and tagging.

If I have a 2-page instruction document that combines task, concept, and reference, I've now got to split that out into 3 topics (maybe more) and then apply appropriate tagging to each.

So the structured authoring part is not really automatic, but perhaps the tagging part can be made more so?

I think you said in the webinar that it took you a month to write the DTD and a month to convert 200-300 topics. I could be way off. You also said computers are good at automating tasks. Yes, once you get the data converted they are. Can they help you get the data converted too?

In responding to Mike I said I'm looking for the shortest distance between point A and B. Where are the ways to save time and automate in the conversion process? For all I know, Stilo and DCL can just have a bunch of people who sit there and do the job manually. This kind of business model has worked before! But assuming they don't do that, what processes are they using that you might be able to use in-house? Maybe HTML-to-DITA through the OT is the way to go. I can certainly try that.

It might be that I should regroup and revisit the question when I have more information, if and when that takes place. I'm struggling to ask the right question right now because a lot of it is academic and unknown. But I think you can see what I'm asking.

Thanks, Chris. That was a great webinar, by the way. I encourage you to take another shot at trying to get me to understand this. But if I just don't have enough info yet to ask a good question, then I will accept that.

Steve

PS - I don't know that Frame or Flare as an intermediary would buy me anything. The question only came up because I was thinking, Hmmm, existing skills (among writers), existing licenses, possibly an easier intermediate learning curve than something like, "Okay, let's drop everything and now you're going to learn Oxygen." Or XMetaL, or whatever. AND structured authoring! This is a big task for people, and a big change. But you might be right (as suggested by the others) that it could be easier to just stick with the native authoring environment, whatever that might end up being (if).


On Monday, October 13, 2014 11:22 PM, Chris Despopoulos wrote:

I think the question is a little bit odd. Convert WHAT exactly to DITA? Maybe your best bet is to save as HTML and use the OT to convert that to DITA. I just don't see enough information in the question.

Another consideration... What shape is your unstructured doc in? Does it easily divide into topics? Can you identify points to automatically convert X into a topic, and beyond that, to establish the nesting of topics? Are you sure you have a clear automation path, no matter what tool you use? If not, why don't you just use the authoring environment you plan to stay with?


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Re: Flare or Frame as an intermediary for migrating to DITA?: From: Chris Despopoulos

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