A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is an open, general-purpose specification for creating markup languages. Its primary purpose is to help information systems share structured data, particularly via the Internet, and it is used both to encode documents and to serialize data. It is used in a wide variety of technical communication document formats, including Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, XHTML, DITA, DocBook, and RSS, among others.



Extend Enumerated Lists in an XML Schema

The addition of new values to a list is a common and necessary requirement. Schema designers often seek to build into the architecture a means to permit additional values that were unknown at design time. How can schema designers create an enumerated value list that is extensible and easy to implement? Discover several approaches used to achieve this goal.

Kiel, W. Paul. IBM (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML


Extend Enumerated Lists in XML Schema

The addition of new values to a list is a common and necessary requirement. Schema designers often seek to build into the architecture a means to permit additional values that were unknown at design time. How can schema designers create an enumerated value list that is extensible and easy to implement? Discover several approaches used to achieve this goal.

Kiel, W. Paul. IBM (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>Databases


Extending XML in the Enterprise

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.

Parsons, Jon. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Content Management>XML>Workflow


Extensible Markup Language (XML) Activity Statement

The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a simple, very flexible text format derived from SGML (ISO 8879). Originally designed to meet the challenges of large-scale electronic publishing, XML is also playing an increasingly important role in the exchange of a wide variety of data on the Web.

W3C. Reference>Web Design>XML


Extensible Markup Language: How Might It Alter the Software Documentation Process and the Role of the Technical Communicator?   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article describes the influence that Extensible Markup Language (XML) will have on the software documentation process and subsequently on the curricula of advanced undergraduate and master's programs in technical communication. XML, an evolving set of standards for storing and displaying information, uses nine components that make up the XML development process. Grouped into content, formatting, and language specifications, these components enhance organizations' ability to manage information more efficiently and accurately. As the XML development process is adopted, the software documentation process will evolve from a self-contained procedure into a more flexible, interactive process in which software documenters must work closely with a wide range of specialists. The changes that XML will have on the software documentation process will likewise have implications for programs in technical communication in the need to address new kinds of job descriptions, skill sets, and career paths of future technical communicators. The article recommends adaptations to existing courses, as well as new elective and required courses.

Battalio, John T. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2002). Articles>Documentation>Education>XML


Extensible Markup Languages and Traditional Abstracting and Indexing Strategies   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

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.

Applen, J.D. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication (2001). Articles>Content Management>Knowledge Management>XML


Extensible Schema Documentation with XSLT 2.0   (PDF)

XML Schema documents are defined using an XML syntax, which means that the idea of generating schema documentation through standard XML technologies is intriguing. We present X2Doc, a framework for generating schema-documentation solely through XSLT. The framework uses SCX, an XML syntax for XML Schema components, as intermediate format and produces XML-based output formats. Using a modular set of XSLT stylesheets, X2Doc is highly configurable and carefully crafted towards extensibility. This proves especially useful for composite schemas, where additional schema information like Schematron rules are embedded into XML Schemas.

Michel, Felix and Erik Wilde. WWW 2007 (2007). Articles>Documentation>XML>XSL


Extensible User Interface Language (XUL)

XUL is an XML-based language for describing the contents of windows and dialogs. XUL has language constructs for all of the typical dialog controls, as well as for widgets like toolbars, trees, progress bars, and menus. Where HTML describes the contents of a single document, XUL describes the contents of an entire window (which could itself contain multiple HTML documents).

Cover Pages (2003). Design>User Interface>XML


Fast Incremental Updates of XML Records

XML is often used today as a data export and exchange format. In such cases, you might deal with a feed of XML records; sometimes, if this feed, is too long, there are performance problems importing it into another system. As such, you might want to produce only an incremental feed--that is, one that only includes items that have changed. This article presents a collection of simple techniques that you can combine into a system for more digestible feeds containing only updated records.

Ogbuji, Uche. IBM (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML



Feedity is an RSS generator for web pages without a web syndication format. The goal of Feedity is to dynamically create RSS web feeds from such webpages. Feedity will take virtually any web page, and convert it into a fully formed RSS web feed. The RSS feed is updated in near-real time.

Nilkanth, Ashutosh. Feedity. Resources>Information Design>XML>RSS


Firefox 2.0 and XML

Firefox 2.0 brought several important changes in its XML support. It's currently reaching its peak in user deployment. Learn about updated XML features in Firefox 2.0, including a controversial change to the handling of RSS Web feeds.

Ogbuji, Uche. IBM (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>Web Browsers


The Foundation for Occasionally Connected Computing

This paper motivates the need for a lightweight, standards-based web services implementation that runs on mass market mobile devices. It describes the advantages of using web services and the challenges which must be overcome to use web services on mass market devices with limited computing power and network bandwidth. The paper concludes by describing a new approach to web services which drastically reduces the code required to exchange data with remote services, enabling the creation of more compelling applications with sophisticated user interfaces and application logic.

Rollman, Rich and John Schneider. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Web Design>Mobile>XML


Frequently Asked Questions about the Darwin Information Typing Architecture

DITA experts Don Day, Michael Priestley, and Gretchen Hargis address the topic architecture of DITA, tips and techniques, and general DITA questions.

Day, Don, Michael Priestley and Gretchen Hargis. IBM (2001). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Frequently Asked Questions about the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)

DITA supports the proper construction of specialized DTDs from any higher-level DTD or schema. The base DTD is ditabase DTD, which contains an archetype topic structure and three additional peer topics that are typed specializations from the basic topic: concept, task, and reftopic. The principles of specialization and inheritance resemble the principle of variation in species proposed by Charles Darwin. So the name reminds us of the key extensibility mechanism inherent in the architecture.

Day, Don, Michael Priestley and Gretchen Hargis. IBM (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Functional XML: A Preliminary Sketch

Existing XML processing models are pipelines, controlled by pipeline descriptions which resemble shell scripts. Functional XML allows XML documents to specify their own processing explicitly, without losing the generality of the pipeline script approach.

Thompson, Henry S. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML


The Future of XML Information Management

Discusses how XML is changing the definition of 'Information Management' and the challenges associated with this change. XML provides endless opportunities when it comes to solving complex data issues companies face today from data integration to implementation of Service Oriented Architectures(SOA). Companies that choose to exploit the advantages of XML will undoubtly gain an edge over their competitors but will also be required to solve the challenges around how to best manage and service XML data without compromising data security and integrity.

Picciano, Robert. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>Planning


Ganzheitliche Informationslogistik Unterstützt die Technische Dokumentation   (Word)

Nicht selten wird die technische Dokumentation nur nebenbei erstellt, obwohl gute Gründe für eine stärkere Beachtung dieses potenziellen Marketinginstruments sprechen: Rechtliche Bestimmungen erzwingen bestimmte Informationen (wie etwa Sicherheitshinweise) sowie die Qualität und Form, in der sie angebracht werden müssen. Fehlende oder zu spät gelieferte Dokumentation verursacht Zahlungsausfälle in Millionenhöhe. Dokumentation und Information wird zunehmend als zusätzlicher Service, also Mehrwert für den Kunden interessant. Darüber hinaus stellt der Bereich der Dokumentation die Keimzelle für technische Informationssysteme z.B. für das Wissensmanagement oder auch die Qualitätssicherung dar, da in diesen Abteilungen ohnehin bereits sehr große Mengen des technischen Know-hows im Unternehmen vorliegen. Im folgenden Beitrag lesen Sie, wie XML und .NET den Produktionsprozess positiv beeinflussen.

Freisler, Stefan. Doculine (2002). (German) Articles>Information Design>XML


A Generalized Grammar for Three-way XML Synchronization

This paper proposes a general synchronization grammar which can describe synchronization rule sets. For example, when handling three input files, we show that changes to elements can be described in terms of just seven possible permutations. Similarly, PCDATA and attribute changes can be described in terms of a fixed set of permutations. Using these permutations a grammar is proposed, allowing precise description of synchronization algorithms and rule sets and providing a testable framework for their implementation. The paper applies the resulting grammar to existing synchronization tools and technologies and shows how the grammar can be applied to provide solutions for specific application areas, including document workflow and translation.

La Fontaine, Robin and Nigel Whitaker. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>Programming>XML


Generating XML Schema Dynamically Using VB.NET 2005: Essentials

This is the first article in a series concentrating on generating XML Schema dynamically using Visual Basic 2005. The series is mainly targeted at those who are familiar with XML, XML Schema and the .NET framework.

Chaterjee, Jagadish. ASP Free (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>ASP


Get on Board the XML Train

The next century will be an XML century, make no mistake about it. All our documents, even checks, credit card slips, personal letters, recipes, technical documents, everything, will benefit from XML technologies. Students are already learning XML in schools, and big businesses are using it to publish their databases on the web. The appearance of the electronic spreadsheet ten years ago changed the way we do business. XML will change the way we write documents.

DuBay, William H. Impact Information (1999). Articles>Information Design>Standards>XML


Get Started with XPath 2.0

XPath 2.0 is the foundation of two essential recommendations currently in the final stages of development at W3C: XSLT 2.0 and XQuery. It is a major rewrite designed to significantly increase the power and efficiency of the language. In this article, Benoît Marchal shows how the new data model enables you to easily write more sophisticated requests.

Marchal, Benoit. IBM (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Get to Know XML

The XML format was developed in the 1990s in a hope to develop a universal format for documents, replacing proprietary binary formats that couldn’t integrate with one another. And we’re beginning to see the results. In this talk, Dr. Geoffrey Sauer will present an introduction to XML, with an overview that will explain to people who’re not familiar with it why this is a good thing, and how we can begin to use XML formats to our advantage as technical communicators.

Sauer, Geoffrey. EServer (2010). Presentations>Lectures>Information Design>XML


Getting Standards to Emerge, or, How to Build a Recipe Book While Everyone's Busy Cooking

The UK Local e-Government Standards Body was established late in 2003, and tasked with compiling an XML based data standards catalogue for use by UK Local Authorities. This is to be achieved by mapping existing standards, identifying gaps to be filled, advising and supporting local Councils, their partners and suppliers on the interpretation and adoption of standards, and establishing processes for developing new standards as required. However, UK Local Authorities have been developing e-services for several years already, so this new effort has to take place in a context where many projects are already under way, using a variety of business models, and with diverse approaches to XML interoperability design. An additional factor is the traditional tension between central and local government, which has led to patchy and inconsistent adoption of the national UK e-Government Interoperability framework. This paper is an account of the methodology developed by CSW Group Ltd and the LeGSB to tackle this situation.

Harvey, Anna and Ann Wrightson. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML>Standards


Getting Started with DITA

A brief overview for a couple of fellow Austin writers who have asked me recently how and where to get started with DITA.

Gentle, Anne. Just Write Click (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Getting Started with SGML/XML

This chapter is intended to provide a quick introduction to structured markup (SGML and XML). If you're already familiar with SGML or XML, you only need to skim this chapter. To work with DocBook, you need to understand a few basic concepts of structured editing in general, and DocBook, in particular. That's covered here. You also need some concrete experience with the way a DocBook document is structured.

Walsh, Norman and Leonard Muellner. O'Reilly and Associates (1999). Articles>Documentation>Standards>XML



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