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.



Review: Review of Cladonia Exchanger XML Editor

This article is a review of the Exchanger XML Editor version 3.2 from the Cladonia company. Being such a broad field, the XML Editor category is necessarily far-reaching, and can cover both database management systems and authoring tools. For this reason, this review narrows the scope by looking at the suitability of Exchanger for use by technical communicators and Help authors to create and edit manuals, user guides and Help systems. Much of the focus of this article is therefore on the software's suitability for DocBook or DITA authoring, and its appropriateness for users without coding skills.

Self, Tony. WritersUA (2006). Articles>Reviews>Software>XML


The Road to XAML

XAML stands for eXtensible Application Markup Language and was created by Microsoft. It is currently the primary mechanism for declaratively creating the user interface in a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) application. WPF is part of the .NET 3.0 framework. Why discuss these very technical things in a design blog post? The answer is simple: because XAML is designed for designers. It has other uses of course, but one of its main tenets is that XAML enables the separation of UI and logic (code). That is a very powerful concept! In this and future posts, I will explain how a few of us at Autodesk are using XAML in our design process as a way to enable design refinement during the Development phase.

Stein, Matt. Designing the User Experience at Autodesk (2009). Articles>User Interface>Programming>XML


RosettaNet: Adoption Brings New Problems, New Solutions

The first phase of RosettaNet innovation and deployment was fuelled by the early challenges of achieving standards-based interoperability and making B2B integration work over the Internet. In the second phase, RosettaNet is working to reduce the cost of multi-enterprise collaboration to increase the depth of collaboration and to encourage small- and medium-sized enterprises to participate and thereby increase the breadth of multi-enterprise collaboration. This paper focuses on the XML-based technologies and methodologies that RosettaNet is using to address the principal challenges of the second phase, and shares some insights that may be useful for those facing the challenge of creating standards for information exchange within an enterprise or between enterprises.

Damodaran, Suresh. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>Case Studies>XML


RSS Applications

A directory of more than 100 online resources about RSS (Really Simple Syndication).

DMoz. Resources>Information Design>XML>RSS


RSS Primer for Knowledge Base Publishers

RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) is an XML format designed for sharing headlines and other Web content. Print and Web publishers such as BBC, CNET, CNN, Disney, Forbes, Motley Fool, Wired, Red Herring, Salon, Slashdot, and ZDNet use it to distribute stock tickers, sport scores, weather reports, news headlines and other information.

Montague Institute Review (2003). Articles>Information Design>XML>RSS


RSS, Search Engine Visibility and Brand Perception

Branding has been called the most powerful idea in business, yet few companies consciously craft and promote their brand. Making a brand visible to an online audience can be an additional challenge. Studies show that searchers regard the companies that are placed on the first page of search engine results as the major players in the field. So how do you get the coveted page-one positioning? New technologies like RSS feeds are one way to accomplish this and make your brand more visible in the process.

Falkow, Sally. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Web Design>XML>Search Engine Optimization


Review: Samalander DITA XREF Manager Fills A DITA Tools Void

Although DITA is a fantastic infrastructure for content in a digital age, DITA tools are…well, where the heck are they? Putting your content in XML ought to allow you to do really cool things with your content because it’s no longer tied to format. In essence, having your content in XML makes it available to be handled programmatically in a way that’s just not possible in unstructured content (FrameMaker or Word).

Samuels, Jacquie. TechWhirl.com (2014). Articles>Reviews>XML>DITA


Save Time and Code with XPath 2.0 and XSLT 2.0

Three interesting new features in XPath 2.0 and XSLT 2.0 are the item data type, the to operator, and the concept of sequences. Build a sample application that uses these features to generate a sophisticated HTML view of an XML document, and with the new features in XSLT 2.0, create shorter stylesheets that are easier to maintain. Along the way, spend a bit of time on data typing in XSLT 2.0, and learn to use the new element.

Tidwell, Doug. IBM (2007). Articles>Web Design>XML>XSL


Scaling Up with XQuery, Part 1

The value of XQuery is not in its role as an alternative syntax to XSLT 2.0 for manipulating XML; it's in the implementations, which let you quickly retrieve, sort, and manipulate specific subsets of XML from collections that can measure in the terabytes. The ability to store large, indexed collections of data that don't fit neatly into normalized relational tables will create possibilities for all kinds of new applications, both inside and outside of the publishing world.

DuCharme, Bob. XML.com (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Scaling Up with XQuery, Part 2

Gets you to the point where you could start exploring those features with a reasonably large collection of your own data. Without spending any money, you can check them all out and discover the advantages to having large amounts of your XML stored in a database where you (or an application!) can use a W3C standard language to quickly retrieve what you want from that database.

DuCharme, Bob. XML.com (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Schema-Aware Processing with XSLT 2.0

With the release of version 2.0, XSLT now allows you to design your stylesheets to be schema-aware. A schema-aware XSLT system offers many benefits, including the ability to validate input trees prior to the XSLT transformation to ensure that the XSLT stylesheet only processes valid input, as well as the ability to validate output trees to ensure that the XSLT transformation is producing the valid XML output. You are also able to specify data types for variables, for input parameters for user-defined functions and templates, and for return values from the functions. In this article, learn more about the concept of schema-aware facilities and follow some examples that illustrate the benefits.

Gandhi, Mukul. IBM (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Securing XML - Case Studies from the Financial Services Industry

XML is becoming the de facto business document interchange language for the Internet. Technologies such as SOAP and EBXML have been developed within the XML framework. Digital security standards and techniques are now being applied to XML, and to 'business webs' built using XML and Web Services. This presentation discusses these initiatives and the issues being encountered when applying security principles of confidentiality and non-repudiation to XML. Drawing on practical experience in Vordel projects, this presentation looks at how Web Services can be applied in the Financial Services industry to provide for improved secure partner and customer integration for the delivery of products and services.

O'Neill, Mark. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>Security>XML


Seeking Equality

XPath 1.0 (and hence your XSLT style sheets) considers two elements to be equal if their string values are the same. The string value is essentially all of the PCDATA between the element's start and end tags, even if the element has descendant elements. For example, an XSLT processor considers the w and z elements in the following to be equal, because they both have a string value of "abcdefghi".

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


Seize the Opportunity: XBRL Implementation

XBRL was established to provide the world’s integrating capital markets with a common accounting language for financial reporting, transforming the communication of financial information such as annual reports. The growing need for more detailed and transparent information places stress on preparers and analyzers of financial information because the manual processes for organizing financial information used today are time consuming and vulnerable to human error. As technical communicators, we are responsible for encouraging finance and accounting professionals to begin using XBRL. Furthermore, we must help managers with implementation of XBRL.

Culp, Sarah. Orange Journal, The (2010). Articles>Information Design>XML>XBRL


Semantic Anchors for XML

XML syntax is just the foundation for data interoperability. The next step is semantic transparency. Some groups are working to address this by defining entire document formats to be adopted wholesale, while other groups are working on ways to express common terminology and concepts at a more granular level. In this installment, Uche Ogbuji looks at XML Topic Maps Published Subjects and Universal Data Element Framework (UDEF), two ideas that take the granular approach by seeking to provide anchors in the semantic stream.

Ogbuji, Uche. IBM (2003). Design>Information Design>XML>Metadata


The Semantic Web: 1-2-3

This document is not intended to teach you RDF via my own words, but rather to hand-hold you through the 'good' parts of the same journey I took. If it looks like a big link-list with menial comments from the peanut gallery, then you're not far off the mark of my intent. This is by no means definitive, nor was that the goal.

Disobey.com (2003). Articles>Information Design>Metadata>XML


Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Made Simple

Even if you're wrapping a legacy application, you'll need a service description that other web services applications can use. Of course, there are many data-binding tools available that are, for example, capable of turning a Java class into an XML Schema or a Windows-compatible wizard with a "generate WSDL" button. But even then, you'll have to give those descriptions to others, the tools may have bugs (surprising, I know, but it's been known to happen), or you'll need to hand-tweak the generated files because a particular customer "just wants the namespace or URL changed." At that point, you don't want to have to burn the midnight oil with a copy of the WSDL and Schema specs in hand and the generated WSDL file on your screen.

Salz, Rich. XML.com (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML


Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) in the Real World

Management is an essential for any organization planning to make production use of SOA. Even at the outset of a Web services project, success hinges on defining, tracking and controlling appropriate service levels. When implementing Web services, organizations need to review and analyze quality-of-service (QoS) metrics in order to plan for growth, minimize risk and justify additional investments. Once in production, loosely coupled systems require heightened security measures and a means for handling unexpected business conditions. In this session, the author will review how two leading financial services organizations built and deployed production-ready SOA systems, and, as a result, significantly reduced development cycles and total cost of ownership. Ed will also discuss the benefits these companies have achieved from implementing their SOA systems, the challenges they overcame and how they plan to extend their SOA systems to realize greater business benefit in the future.

Horst, Ed and Christopher Sirna. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML


Services for Data Integration   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)

The fact that many decisions need a combination of information sources makes easy integration of geospatial data an important data usability issue. Our vision is to achieve automated just-in-time integration. As a foundation, we present a system architecture with distributed data and services. Existing and evolving standards and technologies fitting into this architecture are presented along with their scope and shortcomings. A major point is the appropriate definition of data and operation semantics. Further research is needed here to make the automatic formation of service chains for data integration possible.

Riedemann, Catharina and Christian Timm. Data Science Journal (2003). Articles>Information Design>XML>Geography


Sharing Your Site with RSS

Jason shares his knowledge about RSS: What it is, how it's used, and why you need it. Just don't ask him what it stands for.

Cook, Jason. Webmonkey (2003). Design>Web Design>XML>RSS


A Short Tutorial on WSDL

Web Services Description Language is the standard format for describing a web service in XML format. In this tutorial you will learn what is WSDL and Why and How to use it. WSDL is very easy to learn and very important for Web Services.

Tutorials Point (2007). Articles>Information Design>Standards>XML


Simple Web Syndication with RSS 2.0

Simply put RSS is an XML application for simple web feed syndication and content subscriptions. Let's say you have content on your site that you want to feed, or make available for other sites. This is known as web syndication. Most commonly this takes the form of sharing news headlines, product releases, or some similar timely content. RSS provides a standardized method for web sites to use when creating these feeds.

Dev Articles (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>RSS


Single-Source Documentation: Docbook versus DITA

When it comes to documentation projects, primarily technical, medical, and scientific, using XML is a no-brainer. The heavy thinking comes when deciding which flavor of XML to use: DocBook or DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture). I have been a steadfast supporter of DocBook for over six years. I'd tried my hand at DITA and gave it up as a fad; lots of bells and whistles, but too complicated to integrate. And couldn't DocBook do everything DITA promised anyway?

Mulvihill, Teresa. LiveTechDocs (2008). Articles>Documentation>Single Sourcing>XML


A Small Tutorial on SOAP

SOAP is a simple and open standard XML-based protocol for exchanging information between computers. In this tutorial you will learn what is SOAP and Why and How to use it. SOAP is very easy to learn and to use and in demand too.

Tutorials Point (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>SOAP


So what is Single Sourcing and what is DITA?

Single Sourcing reduces the need to create and maintain duplicate content, by enabling you to use existing “chunks” of content. This means you can have the same information in different publications, and you can have a library of existing content to re-use when you’re developing new documents.

Pratt, Ellis. Cherryleaf (2010). Articles>Single Sourcing>XML>DITA



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