Understanding and Mastering Structured Writing

Mark Baker, well-known writer/content engineer, and author of Every Page is Page 1, introduces the concepts of structured writing, how to work with and among the different domains, and how structured writing supports quality in creating and managing content.

The Three Domains of Content Structure

The process of creating and delivering content consists of translating ideas (stuff someone thinks or knows) into concrete physical form that can be read (dots of ink or pixel on a page or screen). The writing and publishing process is all about how we get from ideas in a head to dots on a page. Continue reading ...

Structured Writing: Writing in the Media Domain

At its most basic, a hand guiding the pen over paper or chisel over stone is working in the media domain through handwritten-bitmapdirect physical interaction with the media. But this is not structured writing in the sense we mean it here. No computable structures are involved because no computer is involved. Continue reading ...

Structured Writing: Writing in the Document Domain

The simplest reason for moving to the document domain is to enforce media domain constraints that are hard to enforce in the media domain itself. In fact, one of the consistent patterns in structured writing is moving to the next domain to enforce, or factor out, constraints in the previous domain. Continue reading ...

Structured Writing: Backsliding into the Media Domain

Moving to the document domain can allow you to factor out many of your media domain constraints, creating greater consistency at less cost, as well as providing a range of automation and validation options for your content. But it is all too easy to authors to backslide into the media domain, undoing all of these benefits. Continue reading ...

Structured Writing: Writing in the Subject Domain

You can write a recipe in the document domain. However, there are specific constraints on the format of a recipe that this approach neither follows nor records. If we want to create different document structures for different media, recording our content in the subject domain gives us that flexibility. Continue reading ...

Algorithms: Separating Content from Formatting

Human beings can execute algorithms. Indeed, computer programs often replace human beings as the performers of algorithms. This is one of the reasons we turn to structured writing, so that we can hand over the tedious and exacting algorithms of writing and publishing to machines. Continue reading ...