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IBM User Technology March 2004 | Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation Dynamic Navigation in DITA Erik Hennum and Robert Anderson
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation Agenda The problem with static content Challenges of integrating information components, serving multiple audiences, and scaling to the enterprise Solving the content problem with DITA Creating content for many contexts Specifying metadata properties such as the content audience Solving the processing problem Scoping and filtering content with an on-demand repository Demo of solution Getting started now
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation database server web server Problem 1: integrating components Solutions integrate many different components Different solutions use different subsets of the functionality and information for the component A site can install multiple solutions; all solutions should share one instance of each component The running solution needs the ability to show only its subset of the content associated with the component thin client framework solution portal web application query language administration department portal solution
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation database Problem 2: multiple audiences The content has multiple audiences, each with a different but overlapping set of concerns One person can wear many hats and can have different concerns at different times programmer administrator query language administration schema development
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation Problem 3: enterprise scale Enterprise libraries offer too much content to navigate with a global TOC and index; search is imprecise User experience of infoglut The problem can’t be solved with static aggregations of content – components, audiences, and other categories have too many permutations ?
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation Topic Solution: hide the content in the navigation Hide an irrelevant topic by removing all navigation to the topic –Prune branches from the table of contents –Suppress links to the topic from other topics –Drop terms from the index –Skip hits in the search results Dynamic navigation –Solve the content with DITA –Solve processing with Semantic Web technologies Topic Search Index Table of contents
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation DITA in a nutshell DITA is a community XML architecture for reusable topics Content strategy Divide content in granular topics (about the size of a sensible HTML page) Write each topic to stand on its own Assemble deliverables by reusing topics in lots of different combinations Design and processing strategy Strong typing of topics to guide authors and precisely identify semantics – base types of concept, task, and reference Specialize new information types from existing types to minimize design and processing work – extend Reference with a API Reference type or Task with a Tutorial type Shared base types guarantee information interchange with other adopters
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation DITA topic example Installing hard drives You open the box and insert the drive. hard drive disk drive TeraDisk <vrm version="2" release="1" modification="1"/> First, purchase the hard drive. To avoid problems, please leave the hard drive in the box for now. Identifier and title Properties Type-specific content body Relationships
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation Content solution: context-free DITA topics Markup encourages the author to write context-free content Topics authored as self-contained coverage of one subject Any topic can be a starting point with navigation to other topics Topic qualified by properties Metadata such as audience, product, platform, … Processes can filter topics by querying for properties Links to other topics specified outside the content Processes can hide links because they aren’t embedded in content
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation Content solution: context-specific maps A DITA map organizes a set of topics in a hierarchy and sequence Use to produce help systems, printable books, … Different maps can organize the same topics in different ways Can provide multiple views on the same topics: by product, by task, … Setting properties of the topic at a position within the hierarchy Properties include the title and metadata Change the title relative to the parent topic Metadata could identify the same topic as advanced in one deliverable and basic in another
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation DITA map example <topichead navtitle="Installing" audience="admin"> Install products before configuring or using them. … A heading doesn’t have to have a topic Title and properties can be assigned in the map A topic can appear multiple times in the hierarchy The map organizes a set of topics in a hierarchy
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation Semantic Web technologies in a nutshell Manages information about resources Designed to support querying properties and traversing relationships Designed to be scalable to the World Wide Web Useful for navigation as well as semantic relationships Useful for granular resources Two alternative standards RDF from w3c TopicMaps from OASIS Not a content management system No version control, workflow, … Can provide a deployable runtime repository that describes resources Content management systems can also be runtime repository, especially for enterprise websites
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation Processing solution: repository-based delivery Harvest descriptions of the hierarchy and topics –Load properties and relationships into the repository Generate a table of contents and index on request –Query the repository for topics matched by the current filter Insert links into topic pages on request –Query the repository for links matched by the current filter –Repository doesn’t need to store pages repository DITA topics and maps HTML pages load properties and relationships generate TOC and index and insert links into pages
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation Demo DITA topics and map viewed from a repository Technologies used – XSLT, RDF, JSP / Java, HTML
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation Processing solution: dynamic navigation For each user, maintain a set of values for the properties that define the user’s interest Values might include product, platform, user role, user experience, … Scope the set of topics relevant to the organization and type of user Filter the topics within the scope for this user’s current interest Check each topic’s properties against the properties for the user When the table-of-contents or index listing is generated When the search engine returns a list of search results When links are inserted into a topic Other benefits of dynamic navigation Multiple hierarchical views Dynamically generated container topics Position-specific synchronization
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation Summary You can get started with dynamic navigation now Refactor your content Break up narrative sequences into context-free DITA topics Define DITA maps to assemble the topics into deliverables Specify properties, especially for topics that are the root of a branch in the table of contents Use topic properties to drive dynamic navigation Acquire an off-the-shelf Content Management system Create a framework for deployable information, possibly using Semantic Web technologies
IBM User Technology Dynamic Navigation in DITA © 2004 IBM Corporation Learning more About DITA Cover page - http://xml.coverpages.org/dita.html Introduction - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-dita1/ Forum - news://news.software.ibm.com:119/ibm.software.developerworks.xml.dita OASIS Technical Committee - http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/dita About Semantic Web technologies RDF standard - http://www.w3.org/RDF/ RDF resources - http://www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/discovery/rdf/resources/ IBM RDF toolkit - http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/snobase TopicMaps standard - http://www.topicmaps.org/ TopicMaps Cover page - http://www.oasis-open.org/cover/topicMaps.html
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