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On Saturday, January 24, 2015, there will be a TC Camp unconference held at Mission College in Santa Clara, California. The unconference is a one-day event that draws about 150–200 technical writers in the area to participate in an informal, attendee-led day of events.
This workshop is free and includes a catered lunch. It will be held on Friday, January 23, from 9am to 4pm. There is no cost to the workshop, but there is a capacity limit of 110 people for the room. If you want to attend, sign up now so you have a spot.
If you change yo (more)
I’m currently cleaning up a bunch of conditional text in an Adobe FrameMaker book. I need to reduce eight conditioanl tags down to two. Because of the complexity of the content and the required updates, I can’t simply just delete the tags or the text en masse – I have to go through the book and figure it out item by item. It makes me pine for the Content Map feature of SmartDocs for Word, which wouldn’t reduce the manual processing, but would greatly reduce the time I have to spend searching for condition tags.
Coincidentally, I cane across (more)
Robert Anderson has announced the availability of version 2.0 of the DITA Open Toolkit. From the dita-users list email:
Last week at the first DITA-OT Day, we were excited to announce the availability of DITA-OT Release 2.0. This release has been under development for a long time now, and comes nearly ten years after the initial release of DITA-OT 1.0.
DITA Open Toolkit Release 2.0 includes the following significant enhancements:
Sarah Maddox recently recently launched a project called Tech Comm on a Map. It lists all the tech comm groups, meetups, conferences, events, and consultants on a Google map. You can filter by the type of content you want to see. Check it out here:
What’s nifty about this map is how you feed data into it. There’s a Google spreadsheet that has certain data columns, including longitude and latitude. The map automatically pulls in data from the spreadsheet and pl (more)
Russia is close to launching a new heavy-lift booster to replace the aging and failure-prone Proton. The Angara 5 is a completely new booster that uses new engines that are an upgraded version of those used on the Zenit and Atlas 5 launchers. Lets hope the engines are more reliable than the ones that the Antares booster used.
Content: You’re doing it wrong. That’s easy for me to say—we rarely hear from people who are happy with their content. But are you ready for a major transformation effort? Our approach is to assess the overall content lifecycle, meet … Continue reading →
It seems counter-intuitive but global warming may be making our winters worse. The reason – the melting of Arctic sea ice is changing the path of the jet stream – remember last winter’s polar vortex? It may become a permanent fixture.
Here’s a vast collection of old radio shows from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. The collection includes X Minus One, which featured much classic science fiction with stories by Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Murray Leinster, Isaac Asimov, and many others. I remember listening to some of these when I was a child.
Unfortunately you can’t download the shows for offline listening, but they offer three players so you should be able to stream the ep (more)
Tech Comm on a Map now displays all the 2015 technical communication conferences that I’ve found so far. Take a look, and let me know if there are any more tech comm conferences, groups, businesses or societies to add.
Tech Comm on a Map puts technical communication titbits onto an interactive map, together with the data and functionality provided by Google Maps. It’s a great way of seeing what we tech writers are up to, around the world. To find out more about the project, or to add some (more)
A new theme is emerging in the UX (user experience) world: Empathy. Putting humanity into technology. Product designers want to ensure they have empathy with the users of their product. We in the tech world want to design for what people need and want, rather than for what’s new and shiny. I think technical writers can contribute to this discussion!
One of the little tricks I’ve implemented with OxygenXML is dynamic content filtering. Our product supports four different programming languages – Java, PHP, C++, and .NET. Rather than producing 4 separate outputs, I produce just one output and provide a content selector option in the header.
Here’s a demo in my DITA QRG site.
When you select an option in the upper-right corner, the content dyna (more)
The term “strategy” is defined as “alternatives chosen to make happen a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem.” To borrow from the definition of management consulting, then, content strategy is the practice of helping organizations to improve their content performance, primarily through the analysis of existing content problems, and development of plans for improvement. A content strategy will assess an organization’s current state, understand the ideal future state, recog (more)
William Gibson was in town for the Toronto Book Fair this weekend. We didn’t go – instead we went to a couple of readings (Robert J. Sawyer and Peter Watts) at SFContario – the small fan-run convention being much more to our taste. Gibson has been on a tour touting his new novel, The Peripheral, and earlier last week he was at the New York Public Library where he was interviewed by James Gleick. The talk was recorded and is now up on the NYPL web site (in both video and audio formats) (more)