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Summer is coming

Core Dump 2.0 - 6 hours 8 min ago

Summer is coming and so is the usual lineup of summer blockbusters and SF movies.  With movies like The Avengers: Age of Ulron and the Jurassic Park. Mad Max, and Terminator remakes, it’s going to be a busy summer at the movie theatres. Gizmodo previews 28 movies you may want to see. If I had to pick one that I’m most interested in seeing, it’d be The Man from U.N.C.L.E, which was, bar none, my favourite TV show from the early 60s.

And if you don’t want to get out t (more)

Interview with Robert Charles Wilson

Core Dump 2.0 - Sun, 04/26/2015 - 05:34

I have been reading and enjoying Robert Charles Wilson’s novels since his first novel, A Hidden Place, which I reviewed when I was living in Grande Prairie, Alberta and writing a weekly book review column for the local newspaper. I realized immediately that he was a major talent and if my memory is correct, compared him to Margaret Lawrence, based on his elegiac style and deftness of characterization. Wilson has gone on to have a successful career, with a Hugo award for Spin and many successful and acclaimed novels.FWIW, I think he’s one of the two best Canadian writers working (more)

New York Times Changes Headlines for the Internet Age

Core Dump 2.0 - Sat, 04/25/2015 - 08:40

I’ve never given much thought to newspaper headlines, but it turns out that the great disruptor, the Internet, is having an effect on those too. The New York Times has had to adapt its headline writing style to ensure that its headlines show up in search results and articles get shared in social media. Let’s just hope they don’t end up like BuzzFeed.

THE headline was perfect: “(more)

Rebooting UX in Denmark – UX Camp CPH 2015 - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 17:20
Once again the day came to pass where all fans of User Experience descended on the campus of the IT University of Copenhagen to talk UX, eye-tracking, card-sorting, service design, touchpoints, CX, CJM, UX, SUS, UCD, and all the other magic incantations they knew so well from their lives in the Real World. Now, they […] 0 (more)

New series: User-centered documentation - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 01:40
I’m starting a new series on my blog about user-centered documentation. If you’re new to my blog, a series is a collection of posts (usually about 10) focused on the same topic. The series format gives me a chance to explore a topic in depth without publishing a monolithic post all at once. Origins of Continue Reading » (more)

Cause of SpaceX landing failure found

Core Dump 2.0 - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 19:21

The cause of the SpaceX landing failure a couple of weeks ago was a balky throttle valve that kept the engine from responding with the correct thrust. I’ve also heard some speculation that there may have been some aerodynamic off-centre forces caused by landing on the barge instead of on land. I’m sure they’re analyzing that too. The next landing attempt is going to be in June. They’re also testing their reusable Falcon 9R in Texas – the article has a link to a video shot earl (more)

News roundup

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 10:24
Here’s a summary of recent activities: We have a client looking to engage a technical editor for a three month contract. We have a client looking for an undergraduate (or recent graduate) to...

[[ For the full article, see]] (more)

One Author’s Experience with KDP

Core Dump 2.0 - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 19:15

Joanna Cabot of TeleRead has just published a book through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. It’s a two-part article (part 1 and part 2), especially since Joanna is Canadian, and had to jump through some extra hoops because of that. Part 1 describes the process she went through to create the book, while part 2 describes the publishing pro (more)

Another Hugo post

Core Dump 2.0 - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 19:02

This is probably the best article I’ve read about the Hugo controversy so far. I’m not familiar with author, Philip Sandifer, but he can write and he knows and is passionate about his sujbect. It’s very long, but well worth the time to read. If any of you reading this and don’t know where I stand on the issue, just to save you the time if you disagree with me, here’s a short bit from the author’s concluding segment with which I fully agree:

Fuck you, Theo (more)

Content strategy and the big picture

Scriptorium blog - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 09:23

What’s the best way to minimize conflict when developing and implementing a new content strategy? Keep everyone focused on the big picture: Conflict is inevitable, especially the unproductive kind. When people take their eyes off the bigger picture and focus … Continue reading →

The post Content strategy and the big picture appeared first on (more)

Some free Neil Gaiman stories

Core Dump 2.0 - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 05:28

By now you’d probably have to be living under a rock not to know who Neil Gaiman is. At this point, he’s probably the most popular SF author of his generation, in the same league as George R. R. Martin and Stephen King, but they’re both older.  Over the years, Gaiman has made quite a bit of his work freely available and OpenCulture has collected much of it on this page. If you’re not a fan, check it out – I suspect you’ll be one after you read a couple of his stories.(more)

Atlassian no longer lets users comment on its documentation – good or bad news?

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 03:48
Last week, Atlassian sent out this message on Twitter: We’re changing our documentation platform, including closing comments. Read more and learn why — Atlassian...

[[ For the full article, see]] (more)

Hello world!

The Content - Sun, 04/19/2015 - 20:57

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!


Hello world!

The Content - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 15:39

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!


Novels and fascinating theories

ffeathers - a technical writer's blog - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 03:19

A while ago, I stumbled across M Vera Bührmann’s book, Living in Two Worlds, and found it fascinating. My novel, Things Unseen, grew around the ideas in Dr Bührmann’s book. I wonder how often that happens: an interesting theory in psychology, or archaeology, or another discipline, opens the bud of a romantic novel or wakes the sleeping beast of a horror story.

Dr Bührmann spent a number of years working with African healers amongst the Xhosa people in South (more)

SpaceX landing attempt video

Core Dump 2.0 - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 19:06

Here’s the hi-res video of the SpaceX landing attempt. They came SO close – it looked like they were right on top of the barge coming down, veered sideways, corrected and toppled because there was still some sideways motion. And if that video is slow motion, they came in a lot faster than I expected.


Final analysis between DITA and Jekyll - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 16:17
As the ninth post in this series, I think I’m wrapping it up. This post will contain my final analysis comparing Jekyll with DITA. During this series, I had the misfortune of cutting a tendon in my thumb with a box cutter knife, and so typing has been difficult. I’ve had to wear a cast Continue Reading » (more)

Producing PDFs in DITA versus Jekyll - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 01:17
In this near final post in my series comparing DITA with Jekyll, I want to explore contrasting ways to produce PDFs. I have other blog posts where I have stated how much I dislike PDFs with technical documentation. The main problem is that even though PDFs go out of date quickly, users hang onto them Continue Reading » (more)

Demolishing climate change deniers

Core Dump 2.0 - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 18:41

I’ve been a fan of SF author David Brin for a long time, ever since his first novel Sundiver came out back in the 1980s. He hasn’t been writing a lot of fiction these days, but his blog, Contrary Brin, is always worth reading, and this post more so than most. He starts out by taking a strip off anti-vaxxers, and once he gets warmed up, goes after climate change deniers. He’s a joy to read.

cean acidification, Ocean acidification, Oc (more)

What is technical communication, actually?

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:40
As a technical communicator, sometimes it can be hard to explain to others what it is you do. In the olden days, it was simpler: you could say you wrote manuals. Then, in more recent times, you could...

[[ For the full article, see]] (more)