Tag: <span>DITA</span>

Still in Reading, travelling home tomorrow and apologies to those who offered to meet up, I’ve barely left the hotel but have had two cracking nights with some very smart people, some of whom have told me some of the dirtiest jokes I’ve heard for a while.

And no, of course I can’t remember them… I’m not a tee-totaller you know…

Anyway, I’ll be writing my thoughts up on my other blog if you are interested.

Ohh and I’ll hopefully get my gordonmclean.co.uk domain sorted out… and a myriad of other things that haven’t budged an inch… mind you I’ve got a few hours on the train tomorrow so I might at the very least get my notes typed up.

I can tell you are all just FASCINATED, let’s move on, shall we?

To everyone who responded to my request and left a comment, many thanks. It’s been food for thought, as well as offering up some new blogs, always a good thing. More on that later of course, you know how I love to over-analyse…

Ohhh, the late nights, booze and 5-star food is kicking in, time for bed methinks. Come back soon and I’ll regale you with tales of a hugely uneventful train journey, and the joys of conference freebies.

Or maybe not.

* Bit of a in-joke this one, a mix of DITA and the ‘chicken chicken’ presentation.

Work

Just about finished at this years conference and, as ever, I feel fired up to get back to the office and get things moving. Overall the main theme of the conference was preparation, preparation, preparation, mainly focussed around gathering requirements before kicking off a project. Nothing special there but if you are considering moving towards a single source environment, there is a LOT of preparatory work you’ll need to consider.

I’ll amend this post tomorrow with some notes and thoughts from some of the sessions, but overall I’d highly recommend you visit X-Pubs next year. What follows is largely compiled from scribbled notes and random thoughts, but hopefully may be of interest. I’m not sure if copies of all the slides will be available on the X-Pubs website at any point, I certainly hope so.

Work

Please excuse the dust, and mind your feet, I’m still tidying up. I was always told you should finish a website before launching it but, in the days of instant gratification that advice seems somewhat stilted and old-fashioned. So here it is, yes, it’s another blog.

I’ve been blogging for many years now but this is my first attempt at writing a professional blog. To make it a little bit easier on myself I’ve chosen an area in which I’m fairly well-versed – Technical Communications. I have been a Technical Writer/Author/Communicator (I’ll cover that issue another day) for over 10 years and have worked in a variety of different environments, for a variety of different companies, with different cultures and different technologies. I’ve got various articles and whitepapers written up, but largely un-published, and these days if you don’t have a blog… then you are probably out doing something more interesting!

I’ll be covering every facet of Technical Communications that I’ve stumbled across, although I’ll be steering away from discussions on grammar, spelling and english usage (others already cover that in far better style than I could).

So what will I be covering? Everything from planning and designing documents, user analysis, manipulating graphics, DITA, working on the web, document design, AuthorIT, content mapping, agile development, review processes, using the documentation, web design, writing, modular documentation, FrameMaker, editing, CSS, indexing, task analysis, single source, content management, minimalism and much more that I’ve not thought of yet.

I’m not entirely sure where this blog will take me, where it’ll end up, but it’s first step towards a bigger picture and the fruition of many years of trying to have a “professional” place on the web. Comments and discussions are encouraged, and I most certainly do not promise to always be correct. Like most people I’m still learning and trying to keep up as the scope of my profession expands and contracts, and like most I’m sure the internet will continue to play a large part in that process.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve just got another lick of paint to apply…

Work

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Limping towards the finish line that will be the ‘members only’ launch of the Scottish Blogs website. Just need to get ONE DAMN FORM working, import some data and ‘stick a fork in me’ I’m done. I’ll let the current members play with it for a bit (which means I’ll be blocking it off temporarily with a password… maybe.. if I can be bothered) and allow them to edit their details and then the site goes live.

There are still quite a few features I want to add but I can add them later without a hit on the current users and I really need to get this off my ‘list’.

In other news (ohh hang on, can’t mention that) errr… ohh yes.

Redesign.

To be honest I’ve not really been happy with this site for a while, and I think the last re-design was just an effort to try and divert my attention from that fact. The next one is likely to be more radical. No timelines. No collaboration. It’ll just happen one day.

In real life: Ehhhh well… after the weekend I’m actually enjoying doing bugger all to be honest. Especially as my head is full of DTDs, EDDs, DITA, content audits, information maps and the like, it’s nice to kill a few braincells by surfing aimlessly for a while.

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