Smart Structured Editor (SSE): a Web system for collaborative writing of technical documentation

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On Tuesday 13 February we will present Smart Structured Editor (SSE), a Web system for collaborative technical documentation writing, the result of collaboration between Alstom Ferroviaria Spa (Alstom) and the Digital And Semantic Publishing laboratory (DASPLab) of the Computer Science and Engineering department of the ‘University of Bologna.

Each project in which Alstom is involved requires the production and delivery of hundreds of technical documents. Often, for different projects, documents are produced that differ only in the cartouche or a little more. To define a process that allows, by appropriately structuring the documentation, to reduce time and costs for its production, Alstom turned to the DASPLab. of the University of Bologna. With them began a collaboration that led to the development of Smart Structured Editor (SSE), a Web system for collaborative writing of technical documentation, based on templating, change-tracking and document patterns.

SSE makes it possible to increase productivity in the production of these documents and their quality, reducing production costs. In fact, the system allows authors to easily create text documents with semantic and structural features that can be widely customized to the needs of the project, and at the same time widely homogeneous among different authors, based on fragments of text and structure shared and reused in a controlled manner and safe, and allows the monitoring of the evolution over time of these fragments and of the resulting documents, generating a result of adequate typographic quality.

SSE is based on a pattern-based document format called ADF and capable of capturing structural and semantic information about documents, and on modern Web technologies, such as HTML5 and NodeJS.

SSE is also a highly customizable tool, designed to be flexible and to generate, if required, documents using the DITA standard.

During the intervention a demo of SSE will be shown, with an emphasis on content reuse mechanisms and integration with existing formats and systems.


14.00 Registration

14.30 Start of work

  • Gianluca Berghella (CRIT) “Introduction”
  • Marcello Scatà (ALSTOM) “How to structure your own technical documentation to optimize time and costs for its preparation”
  • Fabio Vitali (DASPLab, University of Bologna) “Structured data formats for technical documents, from DITA to ADF”
  • Angelo Di Iorio (DASPLab, University of Bologna) “Collaborative writing of technical documentation with SSE”

17.30 End of work

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