XML editors have traditionally been modeled after the first SGML editor written in 1985, a long time before creating, managing, and distributing structured information was well understood. Now, nearly 20 years later, there are more choices for users interested in creating structured information. Specifically, this presentation discusses alternatives that include Web-based distributed collaborative XML document creation, "tag-free" tools, non-formatting structured editors, and even using common office tools in creating your XML documents.
The two most well-known XSLT processors are probably the Apache project's Xalan (available in both a Java and C++ version) and the Java-based Saxon, which was written by XSLT 2.0 specification editor Michael Kay. If those are the only two XSLT processors you currently use, it's worth checking out Daniel Veillard's libxslt.
Systems engineering is moving away from specially-designed and built systems to integration of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software. COTS brings new challenges to technical communicators. In the past, we found all our information in-house, now it comes from many sources. We must change our process from pure development to information integration, and we must be part of the COTS selection process.
So you know all about reading and parsing XML files, and even checking if they're well-formed and valid. Now, take a step into more advanced territory with this expose of two objects that let you dynamically create well-formed XML documents in your ASP.NET scripts.
The IBM Information Architecture Workbench is an Eclipse-based freeware that I find marvellously handy for organising my thoughts and then committing those thoughts to DITA files. With it, I can model my ditamaps, generate DITA stub files* for the ditamap nodes, and edit the DITA files. Plus, if I draw a line from File A to File B, it gets registered in the ditamap's relationship table. All pretty neat and clean. It shows me, visually, how my topics are arranged in my book (and lets me move around files with a drag-and-drop action). It also shows me orphan files - those nodes that I created but did not link anywhere. And, I can edit the DITA attributes very easily in the Properties view.
I am very comfortable with using Notepad to write in DITA. But there are times when I forget if a particular DITA tag can be used at a particular place. For example, I regularly forget if <prereq> should precede <context> or follow. At such times, an XML editor that also validates your tags as you type comes in handy. XMLmind XML Editor is one such tool and comes bundled with the DITA DTDs and schemas. Its personal edition is free to use for non-commercial purposes and is, thus, great if you want a WYSIWYG DITA editor for your learning and other personal stuff.
Thanks to my Google News Alert service, I recently discovered some on-demand XML Editors supporing DITA. While Salesforce democratized software on-demand in the CRM market, I am still perplexed on the future of on-demand pure play software. So let's see first what makes on-demand software, also known as Saas (Software as a Service), so attractive nowadays. I see five compelling reasons.
La aparición de navegadores cada vez más visuales y mejor estructurados como Vivísimo, Grokker o TouchGraph está empezando a agitar un mundo que parecía estático. Pparece que el referente en este campo está aún más allá del horizonte, pero cada día estamos más cerca.
I decided to simplify the DITA publishing process for myself by building a Windows interface to Ant. Ant was developed to allow programmers to write a simple build file in an XML format, and then process that XML file with the Ant build software.
Although Templates have been around since version 3 of Acrobat there was never any really useful supporting information or technical documentation to make use of them. Version 5 and 6 of Acrobat changed all that making it possible to take full control of Templates to create truly dynamic PDF documents.
This procedure is used to modify the DITA Open Toolkit build files to allow an external map file reference and alias strings to be added to the HTML Help Project file before building, as part of the transformation to Microsoft HTML Help (CHM) format.
During a recent development effort, one of our clients was alarmed at the conversion costs of the proposed XML-based content management system compared to the existing MS Word-based process. This was just one instance of an alarming trend of balking at XML-based systems in favor of using public web folders, indexed by some full-text search engine, as part of a local intranet. In the short run, these edit, drop, and index solutions have some appealing features, including low development and conversion costs. But they are short-lived systems that either wither from lack of functionality or rapidly outgrow their design.
Most PDF files do not include bookmarks. This is a pity, because they are so easy to add, and because the real-world usability of longer PDF files suffers significantly by their absence. And there's no shortage of tools for creating and managing bookmarks, as this product survey article explains.
Information professionals have a love-hate relationship with technology. We love IT because it has made our jobs necessary by enabling the creation and connection of tremendous volumes of content, applications and processes. We hate IT because it constantly threatens to replace the need for us.
No column on information architecture deliverables would be complete without at least some mention of tools. Dan Brown offers three tips on using Visio, Microsoft's diagramming application, that should make your life easier and more efficient.
For a database administrator, DBM (database management) tools make tasks related to maintaining relational databases efficient and fast. Prior to the popularity of these tools, most DBA’s had to use the command line to create, edit, and delete databases. In this article, we present to you the top five most popular/most voted for database management tools.
In one of my past articles, A Pattern/Framework for Client/Server Programming in Java, I discussed a pattern for client/server development using java. That article does not answer exactly how the two parties, client and server, communicate with each other. We require an application-level protocol to do the talking between two entities. It sets up rules about how the two applications/entities communicate and understand each other over a network. If you happen to know the TCP/IP networking model or the OSI networking model, you will observe that network-based communication is implemented in layers, with the application layer at the top and the physical layer at the bottom. This article discusses issues you must face when implementing an application-level protocol and how XML proves to be an excellent choice to represent and implement the application-level protocol.