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The Documentation Problem: Is Structured Content An Order of Magnitude Improvement? | TechWhirl

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imageThe Documentation Problem: Is Structured Content An Order of Magnitude Improvement? | TechWhirl

Enormous amounts of content across the company represent valuable assets. Martin Edic provides 10 business cases for structuring that content with DITA.

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  • Hi Martin,
    Your section on Version Control

    "In DITA, you do not have multiple versions of a chunk of content. When you need to ‘copy’ that content for another use or to share it, you don’t actually copy that chunk. Instead you point to the chunk in the database. Any changes, comments or edits made to the chunk are reflected in every instance of that chunk. This eliminates time-consuming copy/paste/email attach/track changes processes which, in effect, create multiple unconnected versions of the content. When you have multiple versions of content you face a version control problems as changes are made to different versions. This is no longer an issue with DITA."

    has the shiny glow of optimism. However, I think that even though it's true that the time-consuming processes you mention are dispensed with. they are replaced with the wrestling required to get to grips with the transclusion mechanism. Two colleagues said that they attended a DITA conference where a leader for a session said "Who understands transclusion?" Not a hand was raised. These transclusion methods may be better than cut-and-paste bodging but they are not well understood.
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