After a rocky start with technical difficulties on the projector front, did get going - lots of questions, a very interactive audience. I'm always happy when there's lots of questions, because I think that's the real value of having me there in person as opposed to reading an article or listening to a recording. Unfortunately the slow start combined with such active interest did mean I fell behind and scrambled a bit in the afternoon, trying to jam all the DITA map and information architecture content into just a couple of hours, at the expense of coherence and of the schedule (I ended up running a good hour or so over the original closing time).
This morning we discussed DITA feature design for DITA 1.1, and this afternoon I spent brushing up on my DITA authoring workshop, which I'm delivering tomorrow. It's a bit of a weird feeling: one eye on the future, as the Technical Committee expands DITA's capabilities for book publishing and conditional processing; and one eye on the present, making sure that DITA still fits into best practices and processes that can deliver improved quality, not just reduced cost. DITA is good technology, but all it can do is reduce the pain of doing the right thing: it can't do the right thing for you.
Users tell us that they want to reach just the nugget of information they need to do their work and move on.
I'm convinced that topic-based authoring will become the standard for the development of technical information.
Working on the development of DITA has been one of the most fulfilling activities ever in my life. I've had the pleasure of working with many creative and inspiring individuals along the way, both across IBM and in my public activities related to DITA. I've been plunged way deeper into the intricacies of XML processing behaviors than I imagined possible.