March program meeting: getting real with DITA

submitted by Stephanie Donovan
Secretary/Education & Outreach

Join us Tuesday, March 9 at Mustang Engineering for our monthly STC meeting! Here’s some information on the program. We hope to see you there!

Getting Real with DITA: Priorities, Process, and Payback
Mark Lewis, speaker

Everyone’s talking about impressive productivity gains with DITA, but what about the story behind the numbers? Exactly where are the savings, can they be quantified, and how do you determine the best way to get payback early? How do you avoid pitfalls and continue to turn out products on demanding schedules while still having time to make the transition to DITA?

In this presentation, Mark will candidly share

  • high-level overview of Structured Authoring with DITA
  • efficiencies of adopting the industry-wide schema
  • real-life experience that Quark had in moving its XML product documentation to DITA
  • detailed metrics that show where the productivity gains came from and how they contributed to better documentation

Follow the journey as Quark juggled new content with old and implemented a process that made it all work.

This is an informational presentation that focuses on the process of, and
results from, moving to DITA. Mark will share highlights from Quark’s DITA product suite by way of illustration.

Mark Lewis, DITA Product Manager for Usability and a product
evangelist for Quark, has received STC awards for Distinguished Chapter Service and the Florida Technical Communications Competition. Technical Writing, DITA, and Object Oriented Design are his preferred topics when he has presented at conferences, including DocTrain, STC, and DITA North America. Mark is a member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee and is co-chair of the newly formed OASIS DITA for the Web subcommittee. He has authored several white papers on DITA Metrics that demonstrate how Quark achieved high content reuse percentages and that prove the savings possible with DITA’s structured, topic-based writing foundation.

Meeting Details
Tuesday, March 9
Networking: 5:30-6:30 pm
Program: 6:30-8 pm
Location: Mustang Engineering, Appaloosa building
(I-10 between Park Ten and Barker Cypress)

From downtown Houston:
1. Travel West, and exit Barker Cypress.
2. On Katy feeder, immediately merge to the right lane.
3. Enter parking from Katy feeder or from S Creek Dr.
4. Enter building, and take elevator to 3rd floor.

(http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=17000+Katy+Fwy)