--- John Sgammato <jsgammato at IMPRIVATA.com> wrote: 
> But the point remains that the best way to prepare
> depends greatly on what your goals and objectives
> are. Just as one example, if you are not planning to
> adopt topic-oriented authoring and topic-level
> reuse, then spending time learning about DITA would
> be a digression rather than progress toward whatever
> your real objective is.
> There are many different things that can be
> accomplished by the implementation and use of
> structure, and it is not necessary to know a lot
> about the techniques and workflows that don't relate
> to your specific business need.
The trouble is "business needs tend to change.
Information reuse, topic-level authoring, content
management systems, the capability to deliver to a
user exactly what the user needs to perform a
particular task, and the addition of metadata
(attributes) to further facilitate infomation
management have enormous potential, and some or all of
these reatures are likely to become future
requirements in your companies busines model.

Unstructured docs do not fit well in those future
models for many reasons, and conversion of
unstructured docs to structured ones is usually an
onerous and unsatisfactory process.

So, it makes sense to initially select (or
develop)adopt a DTD/schema which is adaptable to
likely (or even possible) future business
requirements. Otherwise, down the line, you are likely
to face an embarassing fiasco.

Although there are many advantages to structure, the
most compelling reason to move in that direction is
that it anticipates the almost certain capability for
assured information reuse, topic-level authoring, and
content management. Therefore, it makes sense to to
initially select a DTD/schema whose design facilitates
future possibilities.

Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
<danemory7224 at sbcglobal.net>

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