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Chapter 13. Reuse strategy > Types of reuse

Types of reuse

Types of reuse Earlier we listed six types of reuse. Below is a more detailed look at them. Identical Identical reuse involves content that’s reused without change. Section Section-based reuse enables you to reuse an entire section or grouping of components at once. Section-based reuse is very useful when you’re building new information products from existing content. For example, if you customize courses for customers, you can reuse entire sections from your standard materials, then add and augment as required to meet the customer’s specific needs. You can reuse an entire section or grouping of components. Your definition of the “section” grouping will depend on your content and business requirements. Living the GI Way: Section-based reuse LGIW has a lot of opportunities for section-based reuse. For example, their chapter on understanding the glycemic index (GI) can be reused across books and eBooks, in the customized diabetes association materials, and on the website. Other sections such as sections on protein, fats, and carbohydrates can also be reused. Component Component-based reuse enables you to reuse components of content. A component is a discrete piece of content that is about a specific subject, has an identifiable purpose, and can stand alone. Components can be reused multiple times in multiple information products. Living the GI Way: Component-based reuse As illustrated previously with the Value Proposition, LGIW can use components across a huge range of information products. In fact, very few components can’t be reused. However, LGIW may need to employ a secondary type of reuse, such as conditional reuse, so the component can be filtered for a specific situation. Conditional In conditional reuse, authors provide variants for content in a single component, with the variations identified by conditional tags or metadata. When the component is “published,” the different variations are published as required. Conditional reuse is often called “filtered” reuse because the content that isn’t required (for example, for the audience, device, and channel) is filtered out when the content is published. Conditional reuse is very valuable in multichannel publishing, audience variants, product variants, regional variants, and so on. It’s an intuitive way for authors to keep all variations together for ease of writing and review. For example, some content could include a traditional table and an image of the table. The traditional table could be tagged with “print” and the table image “eBook.” When the content is published to an eBook, the traditional table would be filtered out. Conditional reuse has a core set of content that’s applicable in all uses, and variant content that builds on the core content and is only applicable in certain situations. To create content for conditional reuse: • Identify the core content (the content that’s identical for all uses). • Identify unique content to meet other needs. • Make sure that when the content is filtered (for example, the unrelated content is filtered out), the content still flows (is readable and understandable). • Tag the elements, indicating where they’re valid. Use of the building block approach allows authors to create all the content for a reusable component at the same time; in this way, all reusable content for a component resides together and can be reused in its entirety. This makes it easier for reviewers as well because they only need to review the single component, not bits of information all over the place. Living the GI Way: Conditional reuse LGIW has identified that they need different levels of detail in their content. For example, in their definitions of terms they sometimes need just a very short definition, while in others they need more detail. Take, for example, the definition for the GI. Glycemic index The GI measures the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI break down very easily and release glucose into the bloodstream more rapidly than low GI foods. The GI uses a scale of 0 to 100, where pure glucose is 100. Low GI foods range from 0 to 55, medium from 56 to 69, and high from 70 and above. Sometimes it’s preferable to just use the first sentence of the definition, such as in a paragraph or in the app. You could set it up so that the system automatically takes just the first sentence in the term when a shorter version is required, but it would be safer to designate a short version of the term, which may or may not contain more than one sentence. For example, for the definition of insulin resistance, the first two sentences are required for the short definition: Insulin resistance Insulin resistance occurs when your cells stop responding to the insulin. This results in glucose staying in the blood and not getting into the cells. The body produces more insulin to try and get the cells to respond, which results in hyperinsulinemia. Figure 13.2 shows what the component model and associated content would look like. Figure 13.2. Component model and associated content. Imagine that the content is authored in a form or template, not as we’ve shown it here with the model. Also, even if the content is written in different elements, the content doesn’t have to be displayed as separate sentences or paragraphs; the stylesheet can display them as a single paragraph. For example, the sentences Definition Short and Definition Detail can be displayed as a single paragraph. Fragment In fragment-based reuse a piece of a component such as a paragraph or a bullet is reused. While any element in any component can be pointed to and identified for reuse, it makes a lot of sense to group together content fragments for reuse. For example, if an author wants to reuse a term, the author could point to it in the component that includes it, but the next author who wants to reuse that term would have a very difficult time knowing where that term is located. It makes more sense to group together commonly reused content fragments into a single component for ease of search and retrieval. However, you can also decide to reuse something such as a step, a bullet, or any other piece of information. If others are likely to want to reuse the content, it makes more sense to group it together in a “warehouse” component. The warehouse component holds fragments of content for ease of retrieval but the warehouse component is never reused as a whole component. When you reuse a fragment in a one-off situation, you can simply point to the element and reuse it. Living the GI Way: Fragment-based reuse LGIW doesn’t envision reusing content at the sentence or bullet level, but does identify that they need to reuse terms in a number of places. They decide to reuse the Definition Short into their content as required. Variable Variable reuse enables you to set up a variable that can have a different value in different situations. Variable reuse is useful when there are only slight variations in content (such as product names in different regions), but otherwise the rest of the content is identical. Living the GI Way: Variable reuse LGIW has customers all over the world. This means that they need to change their content to reflect differences in measures such as time (12 hour versus 24 hour), and temperatures (Fahrenheit versus Celsius), and in terminology (blood sugar versus blood glucose). LGIW uses variables to allow these terms to change based on the customer’s region.

  

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