Two panels on wikis and structured authoring such as DITA

There are two upcoming Central Texas DITA User Group meetings that you don’t want to miss if you’re looking into wikis for documentation.
Jan. 1/23/08

Ben Allums, Quadralay –

Chris Almond, IBM – internal wiki

Anne Gentle, OLPC – and

Ragan Haggard, Sun –

Feb. 2/21/08

David Cramer, Motive – internal wiki

Lisa Dyer, Lombardi – internal wiki

Alan Porter, Quadralay –

The January panel will talk about models for information development in a wiki framework – a couple of case studies with a demo of each system to illustrate use cases/workflow/high-level architecture. We’ll have a discussion of how these models might empower our professional community.

The February panel has some experience implementing a wiki framework for DITA and also single sourcing wikis – so they can offer a from-the-trenches look at the building blocks (transforms, feature and process requirements, lessons learned from running the project).

Ragan Haggard presented Delivering Open Source Technical Documentation via a Wiki at the San Antonio STC chapter this month, and his slides are available for download. My favorite slide is number 17 – and I have his permission to quote it verbatim here.

Why not resist this fad?

Removing barriers to input from SMEs greatly
improves the documentation.

These docs will get even better with feedback and
input from real users.

We writers have no less control over the content
than before.

A wiki has as much or as little structure as you
impose on it, the same as a book.

I don’t think this level of collaboration is a fad.

We should have a lot to talk about and perhaps even a homework assignment between the two sessions.

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