What do we want?

Reading time: 2 mins

At TCUK12 this year, I chatted with several people about authoring tools. Vendors, other technical writers, managers, I asked the same two questions, again and again. What authoring application do you use, and why do you use it? The answers were illuminating, interesting and always useful. There are many, many options out there, catering to…

Tagging

Reading time: 2 mins

Last night on Twitter I asked “Looking for a way to tag topics in an authoring platform. Not part of Author-it, does any app do it?” and a few helpful people gave me suggestions. I later clarified and thought I’d expand on that here. My clarification was that “Re tagging: we want to tag topics…

Technology vs Emotion

Reading time: < 1 min

Random thought: Has the rise of (talk of) emotional content (affective assistance) been driven by the concentration, over the last few years, on technological solutions? Single sourcing, XML, DITA, DocBook, and all the rest have (rightly) taken our profession forward, so I guess it’s natural that the general trends, as well as refocussing on the…

Conference Connections

Reading time: 2 mins

I’m still tweaking my presentation for the Technical Communications UK conference, Thursday morning is looming larger and larger in my view so I’m distracting myself with considering the other good things that happen at conferences. For me people are the primary reason for attending a conference. Don’t get me wrong, the value can be measured…

Does single sourcing content work?

Reading time: 3 mins

One of the more popular posts on this blog is titled DITA is not the answer and, whilst things are certainly moving forward, it’s a little sad that it is still valid. A recent comment on that post suggested that it’s not just DITA that is lacking, it’s the working realities of single source that…

How do we move to single source?

Reading time: 2 mins

I’ve waffled on about single source and our plans for long enough so, as we are finally starting the process itself, I thought I’d capture some information as we go along. However, it’s probably good to set the scene, so I’ll cover that stuff first. Over time you’ll be able to see all the posts…

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Thoughts on HATT Survey thoughts

Reading time: 3 mins

Tom Johnson has had a look at the survey recently published by the HATT matrix website on help authoring and, by pulling in the results of some other surveys in the same area, has extrapolated some good conclusions from them. He rightly points out that surveys need to be taken with a pinch of salt…

Back to DITA?

Reading time: 3 mins

I’ve mentioned DITA a few times on this blog, and my DITA is not the answer post is still attracting attention. As I’ve said, I think the DITA standard is an excellent one for software documentation and the DITA movement is slowly catching up to the hype. I’ve never given up on DITA and had…

Recently Read

Reading time: 2 mins

Another week (and a bit) has passed. Time is tight for me at the moment, and I’m not posting here as often as I’d like so, for now, here’s a quick roundup of everything that’s zipped past my inbox in the past week: Resources on presentation design … advocates an assertion-evidence design, which serves presentations…

Explosions: keeping ahead of the blast

Reading time: 3 mins

Is it just me, or are we seeing a notable growth in the tools and voices linked to our profession? Are we, the technical communicators (writers, authors, designers, whatever..) finally clued in to the internet and making the best use of the global space? Are the tools we use starting to touch other areas of…

X-Pubs Conference

Reading time: 7 mins

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…

Musings on X-Pubs

Reading time: 2 mins

Next week I’m heading down to Reading to attend the X-Pubs conference, where I’m hoping to learn more about both how a solid XML publishing solution is implemented and, ultimately, why I need to bother. OK, I know why I need to bother so I guess I should re-phrase that to “how I justify all…

Briefly

Reading time: < 1 min

Working for 14 hours a day leaves me unable to sleep, so I’m certain that by the time the weekend rolls around I’ll be dead on my feet and happy to have a lie-in on Saturday morning. With that in mind, I’ve got one more post1 coming before I pause for a couple of days….

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GMail

Reading time: < 1 min

I now have 50 invites for GMail. Does this mean that it is coming out of BETA? If so it augers well for the likes of Flickr, Kinja and all the other semi-permanent BETA web apps that are so popular. But is this what it means? On one hand it’s kinda obvious. They want to…

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Syndicate

Reading time: < 1 min

RSS, Atom, feed readers, news readers, syndication, XML, and a few other terms aside, what’s it all about? Prompted by Lyle finally adding an Atom feed, and this post by the venerable Mr.Sippey, I’ve been delving into this whole thing again. And once again the ‘simplest’ way for me would be to export my blogrolls…

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