Automating content layout without losing flexibility

One of the major advantages of DITA and XML lies in automating layout. One of the major challenges of deploying DITA and XML lies in automating layout.

Automating layout is a tedious task performed by some technically gifted persons. But what if there are dozens, even hundreds of different layouts? Then automating layout becomes expensive and only available to large-scale projects. Rolling out structured authoring to areas with such layout requirements is virtually impossible.

What if the required layout cannot be fully automated? Then performance and security gains on the authoring side may be eaten up by finetuning the generated output. This might be a show stopper on an otherwise worthwhile move to DITA and XML content management.

In this presentation Sebastian Göttel explains how SCHEMA tries to tackle the challenge by allowing for automating layout without scripting or repeatedly fine tuning. Layout automation and flexibility do not have to be in contradiction!

This is a vendor session delivered by Stefan Freisler.

Using social media to communicate with farmers

Is social media the place for “over the gate” discussion

In order to meet the challenges of feeding an ever growing population the farming sector needs to use innovative ways of getting in touch with each other and also to access general knowledge that will underpin and enhance existing indigenous knowledge. Whilst access to high speed broadband is challenging in rural areas the opportunities to engage in a digital dialogue remain. Conversation and knowledge exchange is driven by the demand for information and skills within a context of ” not knowing what you do not know.” Simple information transfer can be delivered through SMS texting and websites but this is a broad brush approach and does not afford the information seeker to modify or enhance the information provided. Social media provides the opportunity for greater person to person interaction and upscaling of a sector.

This session is delivered by Louise Manning.

Was this written by a cat on a keyboard? The useless assistance project

Over a year ago Edward Smyda-Homa started a brave Felix Baumgartner-like, spiraling plunge through the Twitter-sphere. He created and maintains a Twitter account called Useless Assistance (@uselessassist), which contains retweets to remind organizations of the frustration and negative emotions that result from poorly prepared assistance.

This presentation is a light-hearted look at the poor assistance people are encountering and attempts to categorise the common gripes. How organizations are monitoring and responding to such negative assistance-related tweets will also be examined. It is hoped that the findings shared will trigger discussion on how quality issues in our trade can be addressed.

This session is delivered by Edward Smyda-Homa.