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.



Musings on Structured, Topic-Oriented Authoring

A blog post that presents a few thoughts on using technologies like DITA to author documentation.

DMN Communications (2008). Articles>Documentation>XML>DITA


New Metadata Standards for Digital Resources: MODS and METS

Metadata has taken on a new look with the advent of XML and digital resources. XML provides a new versatile structure for tagging and packaging metadata as the rapid proliferation of digital resources demands both rapidly produced descriptive data and the encoding of more types of metadata. Two emerging standards are attempting to harness these developments for library needs. The first is the Metadata Object and Description Schema (MODS), a MARC-compatible XML schema for encoding descriptive data. The second standard is the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS), a highly flexible XML schema for packaging the descriptive metadata and various other important types of metadata needed to assure the use and preservation of digital resources.

Guenther, Rebecca and Sally McCallum. ASIST (2002). Articles>Information Design>Metadata>XML


New to XML

Extensible Markup Language, or XML, provides a way to mark up content that adds information about its purpose. With the information stored using XML, an application known as a parser can reliably extract the relevant information and process it accordingly for multiple situations.

IBM. Articles>Information Design>XML


New XML Validation Technologies in Action

This paper is based from a number of real-world XML validation projects, and compares and contrasts the experience 'in the trenches' with the current state of the art in XML validation standards. Validation is a topic of some controversy in the XML community. While there has been movement from the basic validation offered by XML 1.0 DTD's, there is little consensus on whether that movement has been in the right direction.

Brown, Alex. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>Programming>XML


Newcomers Lured by the Sweet XML of Success

How do you simplify the message you want to broadcast to the world without losing its meaning? For established players it's so much easier because they can get in front of their customers. They can run seminars or publish White Papers that will most likely reach an audience. Or they may gain interest from independent technical consultants to whom users will listen.

Sharpe, Richard. PC Magazine (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML


OAXAL: Open Architecture for XML Authoring and Localization

XML is now acknowledged as the best format for authoring technical documentation. Its wide support, extensible nature, separation of form and content, and ability to publish in a wide variety of output formats such as PDF, HTML, and RTF make it a natural choice. XML, thanks to its extensible nature and rigorous syntax, has also spawned many standards that allow the exchange of information between different systems and organizations, as well as new ways of organizing, transforming, and reusing existing assets. For publishing and translation, this has created a new way of using and exploiting existing documentation assets, known as Open Architecture for XML Authoring and Localization (OAXAL).

Zydron, Andrzej. XML.com (2007). Articles>Documentation>Information Design>XML


The ODF Plugin for MS Office

The OpenDocument Format ("ODF") shows promise for bringing the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) to the common desktop PC of the future as the native file format for office documents in the next-generation office suites including OpenOffice, StarOffice, KOffice, Workplace, Writely and others. An ODF Plugin for MS Office -- currently under development by the OpenDocument Foundation -- can deliver this promise to the 450 million legacy Windows desktop PCs already in place. Sam Hiser, an officer of the OpenDocument Foundation, will discuss the origins and design objectives of the Foundation's ODF Plugin. He will also discuss the strategic goals of the Foundation's ODF Plugin while showing how the Plugin effort is already influencing the development of the ODF standard itself at OASIS. An audience of general business people and software developers will leave Hiser's presentation with a clear understanding of the ODF Plugin, its context of relevance and development, and how it can alter the landscape for XML.

Hiser, Sam. XML 2006 (2006). Articles>Word Processing>XML>Microsoft Word


On Language Creation

During the past twenty years, a huge number of custom languages - at least hundreds, perhaps a couple of thousand - have been attempted. Almost all have been miserable failures. That is to say, the vast majority have failed to achieve wide adoption, and those that were adopted have often failed to achieve their goals, whether of reducing costs, enriching applications, or both.

Bray, Tim. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>Standards


One-One, One-Many and Many-Many Relations in XML Schema

This article is the second in a series that shows you how to implement relations for designing robust XML schema definitions.

Chaterjee, Jagadish. Dev Articles (2006). Design>Information Design>Databases>XML


Only the Good Die Young

Enterprises looking to fast track their content strategy and minimize the risks of a big-bang initiative are choosing DITA–one of the most popular information models to suit today’s content–rich, multi-channel environment.

McLean, Gordon. One Man Writes (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Opening Open Formats with XSLT

This month I'm taking a break from covering XSLT 2.0 to describe how the combination of XSLT 1.0 and an application with an open XML format solved a problem for me. I solved this problem so quickly and easily that it got me thinking about how the combination of XSLT 1.0 and the increasing amount of open XML formats are opening up a world of simple, valuable new applications and utilities for us to write.

DuCharme, Bob. OpenOffice.org (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


OpenOffice.org XML File Format

All OpenOffice.org applications use XML-based file formats. All applications (except Math) use the same format as defined in the specification. The Math component uses the package structure and format, but uses MathML inside the package.

Cover Pages (2005). Articles>Word Processing>XML>OpenOffice


The OpenOffice.org XML Project

The OpenOffice.org XML project is the home of of XML related features of OpenOffice.org, like its OASIS OpenDocument/ISO/IEC 26300 file format implementation. It further provides some XML base implementations, like XML parser and printer components.

OpenOffice.org (2005). Organizations>Writing>XML>OpenOffice


The Organized Web

This document discusses the evolution of the Internet from an unorganized collection of web pages to an organized collection of data. It outlines how XML is at the center of that transformation, and how organizations can take advantage of this evolution with the development of web based services.

Duffy, Scott. XGuru (2001). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>XML


Overcoming Objections to XML-Based Authoring Systems

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.

Buehling, Brian. XML.com (2001). Articles>Information Design>Software>XML


Painless XML Authoring?: How DITA Simplifies XML

Structured writing requires an analysis of content and a reorganization into the smallest possible coherent topics.

Doyle, Bob. SlideShare (2007). Presentations>Content Management>XML>DITA


Paradigm Shifts are Never Pretty: Advice on Making the Move to XML Authoring

Most people are risk-averse, and profound changes such as the move to structured authoring require new skills and workflows. To ensure a successful transition, XML implementers need to assess their team members, identify allies, and build their implementation strategy around the staff members who embrace change.

O'Keefe, Sarah S. Content Wrangler, The (2008). Articles>Content Management>Project Management>XML


Paradigm Shifts are Never Pretty: Advice on Making the Move to XML Authoring

The move toward XML-based authoring in technical publications is a classic paradigm shift. It requires content creators to change their writing process and learn new concepts.

O'Keefe, Sarah S. TechCom Manager (2008). Articles>Writing>XML>Technical Writing


The Path of Control

Covers XPath's new ability to do some things that every real programming language can do: conditional statements and iteration, or, as they're more colloquially known, "if" statements and "for" loops. We'll also look at a useful related technique for checking whether certain conditions do or don't exist in a set of nodes.

DuCharme, Bob. XML.com (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Path, Predicates, and XQuery

In this conclusion to a three-part series on path expressions, you'll learn about complex predicates, dynamic paths, and more. This article is excerpted from chapter four of the book XQuery.

Walmsley, Priscilla. Dev Articles (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Peaceful Coexistence: The SGML/XML Transition at Cessna Aircraft

The transition in a markup-based publishing environment from SGML- to XML-based tools and procedures can sometimes be complex. This session details Cessna Aircraft Company's implementation as it moves from an SGML environment to an XML enviroment.

Hahn, Michael. XML 2006 (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>Case Studies


PHP: Using XML

The tasks behind using XML are always the same: reading data from XML and writing data into it. So this chapter focuses on these tasks and shows how to implement them.

BrainBell (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>PHP


A Pleasant Little Chat about XML

XML [EXtensible Markup Language] is what its name suggests: a markup language, much like HTML. In fact, XML and HTML are siblings (if you want to think of it that way) in that they are both derivatives of SGML, or “Standard Generalized Markup Language”. XML is not a programming language (neither is HTML for that matter).

Meloni, Julie. Prof Hacker (2009). Articles>Information Design>XML


Plugging into the Pervasive XML Infrastructure

In 1998 the industry got behind a common vision of interoperability for systems and data using XML. The web (HTTP/HTML) connected millions of users to each other as well by presenting information they needed - both at work and from home. The next logical step is to connect systems together and break down the stove pipes of information and business logic that exist to unleash an entirely new wave of productivity gains. In this talk I will trace the march of computing that has led to incredible productivity gains over several decades; draw parallels to the invention of electrical generation facilities and the subsequent building of the electric grid that provided power for all to harness and call out the challenges that still lie ahead of us.

Campbell, Dave and Soumitra Sengupta. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>History


Preparing and Publishing Legislation using XML

Many governments are moving to using XML for drafting and publishing legislation. SAIC has worked with a number of jurisdictions to facilitate the automation of legislative drafting and publication processes using XML.

Arnold-Moore, Timothy. XML 2006 (2006). Articles>Legal>Government>XML



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