Topics

DITA-ish structured authoring in Confluence


Yves Barbion
 

Hi group

The screen shot in the section "More Guidance, Fewer Constraints" seems to suggest that it must be possible to use custom templates in Confluence, based on the DITA information models:


Is anyone doing this? Any experiences you can share?

Thanks

Yves


Nicholas Mucks
 

Hi Yves,
This is an interesting find. We have found Confluence to be both difficult to enforce standards and the best tool for collaboration.

We use Confluence for requirements reviews. We built an OT plugin to create a CSV from DITA source files (based on the title and shortdesc) and import that into a Confluence form so that teams can quickly review and provide feedback. It’s helpful because we can also integrate associations to Jira tickets with that requirements content.

To get content out of Confluence, we usually go from Confluence to DITA via Markdown. It loses some structure along the way, but it’s fine for content with significant team interaction like a Confluence page because sometimes the most important goal is to get that feedback from non-writers.

Take care,
- Nick

Sent from mobile

On Oct 20, 2020, at 1:57 AM, Yves Barbion <yves.barbion@...> wrote:


Hi group

The screen shot in the section "More Guidance, Fewer Constraints" seems to suggest that it must be possible to use custom templates in Confluence, based on the DITA information models:


Is anyone doing this? Any experiences you can share?

Thanks

Yves


Hadley, Roger (Hillsboro)
 

I agree that it is difficult to enforce standards in Confluence. If we want content to be well structured in Confluence, one of our tech writers has to re-write and maintain the content contributed by our subject matter experts.

We wrote some XSL that uses the HTML from Scroll HTML Exporter out of Confluence as its source and converts it to DITA concept or reference topics. That works reasonably well if the tech writer curates the Confluence page. One downside is that when our Confluence admins update the Scroll HTML Exporter and the output HTML structure changes, then the XSL breaks and we have to fix it.

Also, we have seen our organization swing to several "new and better" documentation/collaboration platforms over the years. One is Confluence. The latest trend is Azure DevOps Wiki. And of course there is always Sharepoint. And now Teams, which has a wiki. We are cautious about investing too much in a systematized way to get content in and out of a platform when it is likely the content will be abandoned or moved to a different platform.