While I'm a big fan of XML for many purposes, it's a misconception that it's the single best solution in every scenario, and it's worthwhile to consider the alternatives in situations where the benefits of XML are not necessary. In this article, I discuss alternatives to XML, SGML, and HTML that might be suitable when budgets are more limited. While XML is perfect for highly coded information, other options can work well for many kinds of information. Markup languages are at the high end of the cost spectrum, so if you don't need the benefits they provide, you certainly should consider the alternatives discussed below.
Creating an XML-based Content Management System to single-source technical publications is as simple as 1 - 2 - 3. OK, maybe it isn't quite that easy, but this article discusses how it can be done.
The topic of technical publishing is relatively new to the world of Eclipse. One can make the argument that technical publishing is just another collaborative development process involving several people with different backgrounds and skills. This article will show that the Eclipse platform is a viable platform for technical publishing by discussing how to write documents such as an article or a book within Eclipse. In fact, this article was written using Eclipse.
OK. So you have your documents in XML. How do you deliver them to readers? You've heard great things about separation of form and content, and would like different kinds of readers to see the documents styled in different ways. And in order to make the collection of documents more useful, you would like to have full-text search. The quality assurance people would like some help with tools for checking documents and finding errors and inconsistencies in existing ones. Oh, and by the way, we just took a budget cut, so can you do it without breaking the bank?
DITA is a difficult thing to explain to the uninitiated. It is difficult because we expect it to be a product or a technology, when it is actually a standard and a methodology. DITA provides an approach to technical writing that embraces best practice ideals such as modularity, single-sourcing, and content re-use. The reasons for moving to DITA are business-focused.
Panellists talk about two vendor-neutral programming interfaces for content-management systems. Joel Amoussou discusses JSR 170, a vendor-neutral Java API designed to work across many different content management systems. Michael Wechner discusses Neutron, an Open Content Management User Interface based on XML.
For years you've been hearing about how structured authoring and XML-based workflows can help technical authors reuse content more efficiently. By converting all of your topics to an XML standard, investing in a CMS, and building custom DTDs and XSLT translations, you can avoid having to maintain duplicate content. The downside? Months of time invested in research, evaluation, and conversion only to be followed by a steep learning curve as your team adjusts to a new workflow.
Although managing costs is important anytime, it is especially important in today's economic reality where budgets are shrinking drastically. Getting your money's worth as well as what you need to support your data should be a core factor of any data project. The two biggest cost factors are the type of conversion work you need done and how much of it you'll need. This article focuses on how your goals for your project relate to the output format you choose, and how that format impacts costs. While some outputs, like XML, provide higher capabilities, they also cost more to create.
The impact of XML and content management on the field of technical communications is no longer just a speck on the horizon. This paper presents techniques and observations from the trenches of a real-world XML-based content management system implementation that is being used to develop and publish print and online documentation at a prominent software company.
One would think that with the magnitude of XML-based tools into the marketplace it would be easier to justify authoring and storing documents directly in XML. By now most managers have been exposed to the benefits of creating XML content management systems according to some agreed upon set of documentation rules. However, understanding the benefits of this technical approach and being able to justify the expense of implementing it are two different things. Many XML developers are not able to articulate the long-term advantages of converting corporate data repositories to XML in order to build a suitable business case to get such a project off the ground. This session will help business managers articulate the long-term advantages of converting corporate data repositories to XML in order to build a suitable business case to get such projects off the ground by outlining the many cost savings and revenue generation opportunities created by managing enterprise data directly in XML.This session will help business managers articulate the long-term advantages of converting corporate data repositories to XML in order to build a suitable business case to get such projects off the ground by outlining the many cost savings and revenue generation opportunities created by managing enterprise data directly in XML.
This whitepaper defines a new publishing paradigm, which we will call dynamic content delivery. Dynamic delivery changes the rules, putting the reader in charge of what content is important and how it should be packaged. It transforms publishing to an audience of many to publishing to an audience of one.
International growth is the target for most small companies and is indeed essential in many industries if you want to compete and thrive in this global economy; however, international expansion brings many challenges, especially in terms of communication. For example, how do you implement consistent, global communications that maintain your brand identity, values, and messaging while still allowing for local markets and cultures?
The DITA Open Toolkit can transform your DITA files into a wide variety of output types. When you first install it, it's easy to get the impression that you need to know Ant well to use it, but you can pack most of its available options into a single Java™ command line.
You can open and edit XML files stored on the WebDAV server using FrameMaker 9. When FrameMaker 9 is installed on your computer, the Edit with FrameMaker plug-in is added to the browser's toolbar and is listed as an option in the edit menu for XML files.
Most companies accept the rapid obsolescence of their documents as an unavoidable cost of doing business. Its not. When dynamic documents replace static documents, users can bring together disparate, distributed data and content and combine it in a single document that is always accurate and up-to-date.
This presentation is based on a deployed enterprise system designed and integrated to support over 250 plus users for a west coast legislature. The system includes legislative authoring, legislative processing (Introducing, Amending, Enrolling, and Chaptering Bills), document publishing, and updating the State laws.
This presentation explores how recent advances in user interfaces have blurred the once clear distinction between structured and unstructured data. It examines how these tools can be used to empower a new class of user to participate in an XML workflow and a managed content environment.
Object oriented coding languages are used to more accurately label and search for content embedded in electronic texts. An object can be a graphic, a row of specific data housed in a table, a written text, or any other piece of information that conveys meaning. XML, XLink and RDF are second-generation object-oriented coding languages and tools derived from SGML. I illustrate how these object-oriented languages can effectively deploy the indexing techniques and systems traditionally used by information professionals.
XML can simplify production of documents for print, help and web delivery. It can make document components reusable, portable between platforms and easier to maintain. XML also has a dark side. Parts of the standard are turbulent, vendors are rushing XML products to market that are not fully standard-compliant, implementation requires careful planning, and porting of legacy documents to XML is not trivial. Technical communicators can prosper by identifying the parts of XML that can be implemented immediately, by preparing documents to exploit support for XML available in new versions of Microsoft Word and Adobe FrameMaker, and by using hybrid HTML/XML for document delivery.
XML, a way of tagging and structuring your content, can help solve a number of problems, including storing, mining, reusing, and sharing content. XML helps enable the interoperability of information between systems, allowing you to export and import your content from one application to another. XML is behind much of the collaboration and information sharing Web 2.0 technologies, such as RSS (really simple syndication) and blogs. By storing content in XML, technical writers can ensure greater flexibility among technologies for authoring and publishing their content.
With XML, the flow of information and documents around the world has never been greater - with its robust and flexible format that enables sharing of data stored in multiple formats. As a result, XML is shrinking the global marketplace and opening doors to new markets that had previously been hindered by compatibility issues. The last and arguably most important mile in reaching new markets, however, is often in localizing or tailoring communications to fit the particular audience, whether by translating languages to ensuring sensitivity to local nuances and culture.
Surveys four books that examine methods of single sourcing, including publishing tools, XML, and content management systems. Reviews articles describing the roles of writers and editors, the tool set and its implementation, and ways to make dynamic content more effective
As traditional magazine publishers continue to build out their e-media products, many are looking to new, more efficient ways to manage their content and bridge the gap between separate production systems. One solution is XML content repositories, which convert a magazine’s content to a format that’s easily reproduced both digitally and in print.