Jim Tivy, CTO of Bluestream explored the use of terminology for authors and readers showing how DITA and DITA enabled tools can exploit terminology to its fullest potential. He also demoed the support for terminology in the upcoming version of XDocs CMS from Bluestream.
In discourse, not all words are created equal: certain words are central to understanding a subject and other words are not. The organization and consistent use of these important terms, the terminology, is essential to clear communication. Fundamentally, planned and controlled terminology is used by authors in writing and editing, and it is further used by readers searching in glossaries and indexes. Writing tools must make the tasks of authors easy. For example, current DITA writing tools must provide access to terminology lists. Furthermore, search and browse systems in a CMS or online Knowledgebase must incorporate terminology to make content quickly findable and understandable for authors and readers.
Jim described the fundamental concepts of a thesaurus, and how those concepts can be used with DITA content and tools. He demoed an exciting new UI in XDocs that allows for faceted browsing of content (select a folder and filter on selected terms). He also showed us how the terminology database can be populated (manual entry and harvesting from data in the DITA files).
- Presentation, Demo, and Q&A – 1h13m
I think it’s great to see more options for leveraging the metadata and semantic information that exists within DITA content. Hopefully we’ll see more of this from other tools in the future.