Re: [EXT]: [dita-users] Visualizing reltables

Melanie Polutta
 

Well, I didn't intend to start a philosophical discussion. But I would actually dispute some of the statements made above, even without much experience in producing DITA content. (I'm new to it.) Speaking as a consumer, I find many of the websites that present information to me without a coherent narrative of instructions very confusing to figure out. Yes, I may jump around, but I do so within that context, which assists me to make decisions.

For the technical information I'm producing, my users are very accustomed to that TOC-dictated narrative flow of instructions. They use that to navigate and find things. A decentralized search capability as the sole means of finding information is not welcome to them, and has already been greatly criticized. So I am very interested in providing some kind of TOC replacement, and was wondering if the reltables function might assist in that. (I'm also looking at ditamaps for a different way to organize the decentralized information.)

Truth be told, I don't think those kinds of sweeping statements are always correct, because it depends on the kind of tech instruction you are giving and the context it works in. Metadata has limits. (If you're curious, I am dealing with cataloging standards in the library world. So I am perhaps more aware than most of the capabilities and limitations of metadata, because I work with it every day.)

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