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.



The World of RSS Explorations

I’ve now seen firsthand that RSS feedreaders, or news aggregators, truly can provide the ability to literally scan hundreds of site updates and headlines in a matter of seconds, letting me know when those sites have updated posts or news. Depending on the software used, the user can be notified by a bubble popping up, a sound, or the headlines appearing in a list with a right click mouseover on the aggregator’s system tray icon, for example.

Kaiser, Shirley E. Brainstorms and Raves (2003). Articles>Information Design>XML>RSS


Writing in DITA: Tip 3

While authoring, I often need to refer to that specific directory, that particular URL, this specific file which resides in this specific directory. As the software development cycle progresses, names change (and how). By the time people are ready for bit freeze, I am out of my mind worrying if all the specific references I put in your doc are updated (specific references are more "consumable" by a user). But if I've had the time to plan, I'd have probably envisaged such a scenario and prepared myself. How?

Basu, Anindita. Writing Technically (2010). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Writing My First DITA-Ready Topic

Using DITA actually makes your procedures concise and useful. You no longer have to worry about what fits and what doesn’t. Breaking your procedures into the various DITA elements helps you see whether certain information needs to be added, moved, or deleted. And then suddenly, when you begin to write procedures, you automatically start adding, deleting, and moving information around like you need to do with DITA. Before you know it, DITA has already changed the way your procedures look. So how do you get started?

Sequeira, Anne. Indus (2009). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA


Writing XML data to the File System with SSIS

This article shows how you may retrieve XML data from a relational database and write it to a folder on your file system as a text or xml file using Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services 2008.

Krishnaswamy, Jayaram. Packt (2009). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>XML


X Marks the Spot

An explanation of how one writer is using XML to produce documentation and why it's such a great idea.

Skeet, Michael. IRTC (2001). Design>Web Design>XML


X-Diff: An Effective Change Detection Algorithm for XML Documents   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)

XML has become the de facto standard format for web publishing and data transportation. Since online information changes frequently, being able to quickly detect changes in XML documents is important to Internet query systems, search engines, and continuous query systems. Previous work in change detection on XML, or other hierarchically structured documents, used an ordered tree model, in which left-to-right order among siblings is important and it can affect the change result. This paper argues that an unordered model (only ancestor relationships are significant) is more suitable for most database applications. Using an unordered model, change detection is substantially harder than using the ordered model, but the change result that it generates is more accurate. This paper proposes X-Diff, an effective algorithm that integrates key XML structure characteristics with standard tree-to-tree correction techniques. The algorithm is analyzed and compared with XyDiff [CAM02], a published XML diff algorithm. An experimental evaluation on both algorithms is provided.

Wang, Yuan, David J. DeWitt and Jin-Yi Cai. University of Wisconsin (2001). Articles>Information Design>Programming>XML


XCMTDMW: Characteristics of an XML CMS

I feel that the term "XML CMS" is unnecessarily specialized. In my world, content management is a much more general problem and 90% of what you need to manage XML well applies to everything else too. That's another reason I chafe at over-specialized XML repositories--they really can't manage anything else.

Dr. Macro's XML Rants (2006). Articles>Content Management>XML


XM: Open-Source Content Management Based on XML and XSL

XM (XSLT Make) is a simple and affordable web-publishing content-management solution that takes advantage of XML and XSLT.

Ananas. Resources>Software>XML>XSL


XMetaL and DITA in the Marketing Department: Tastes Great, Less Filling

FO sprites are your friend. XSL:FO does not support background images on the page level. use CSS sprites technique on page regions.

Johnson, Chris. Slideshare (2010). Presentations>Information Design>XML>DITA



The XMetaL-DITA group was founded to educate XMetaL users in working with the DITA standard.

Yahoo. Organizations>Information Design>XML>DITA



A collection of XML online resources maintained by IBM's DeveloperWorks division.

IBM. Resources>Information Design>XML


XML 1.1 and Namespaces 1.1 Revealed

Explains what XML 1.1 and Namespaces 1.1 are about, what changes they bring, and how they affect other specs and users.

Le Hors, Arnaud. IBM (1999). Design>Web Design>XML


XML Abstraction at the Wrong Level

Over the last month I've encountered two applications that use XML at the wrong level of abstraction. Instead of tailoring the schema to their needs, they use a very abstract schema, and encode their elements at a meta level within the XML data. This approach hinders the verification and manipulation of the corresponding XML files. The two culrpits I have identified are the iTunes digital jukebox, and the Dia drawing program.

Spinellis, Diomidis. Spinellis (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML


XML Accessibility Guidelines

This document provides guidelines for designing Extensible Markup Language (XML) applications that lower barriers to Web accessibility for people with disabilities (visual, hearing, physical, cognitive, and neurological). XML, used to design applications such as XHTML, SMIL, and SVG, provides no intrinsic guarantee of the accessibility of those applications. This document explains how to include features in XML applications that promote accessibility.

W3C (2002). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>XML


XML Adoption for Document-Based Applications   (PDF)

The question is not whether XML will succeed as a widespread data format, but rather how fast, to what level and with what products. With the rapid maturing of the XML data standard by the W3C and the creation of many related standards, hundreds of leading vendors will ship XML-enabled products over the next 24 months. These products will drive a limited, but important, number of corporate and commercial publishing applications that will both prove the market viability of XML and also generate a small but critical mass of XML data that will trigger rapid widespread adoption.

Young, Brad and Randy Clark. STC Proceedings (1999). Design>Information Design>XML


XML and Browsers

Now you should know what XML is for and how to write a basic XML document. In this part I will show you how to create a full XML document and load it in a browser, as well and the different ways it can be displayed.

Gowans, David. Free Webmaster Help (2001). Design>Web Design>XML>Web Browsers


XML and Content Management Systems

This article explores the role of XML in the context of content management systems, focusing specifically on the business issues.

Robertson, James. Step Two (2003). Articles>Content Management>Single Sourcing>XML


XML and Documentation   (PowerPoint)

XML provides a robust, non-proprietary, and verifiable file format for the storage and transmission of text and data both on and off the Web. XML removes the complexity of SGML, making it easier to define your own document types, and to write programs to handle them.

Bokil, Manoj. STC India (2003). Articles>Documentation>Information Design>XML


XML and its Emerging Uses Within the Enterprise

In 2000, as one of the first speakers at XML One, Rod discussed the merging of the web, XML, and messaging into the loosely coupled applications that today we call web services. Rod's Emerging Internet Technology team has continued to explore new uses for XML beyond SOA for enterprises. His talk will cover how XML is a cornerstone for new types of web applications - Do It yourself applications - which include applications through dynamic scripting languages and the intersection with other emerging areas such as Rich Interactive Applications.

Smith, Rod. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Content Management>XML>Workplace


XML and Marketing Materials

Marketing materials are always important, and in these difficult times, they are critical to the success of the organization, and there are huge pressures to do more with less and for less money. Enter XML. XML is often perceived as complex, rigid and horrible to work with (geeky, technical) — anathema to the average marketing communications author. But this is no longer true. XML and the tools that support them have matured to the point where the XML is hidden, much in the same way RTF is hidden from the average Microsoft® Word author. Using XML for marketing materials provides considerable benefits, including consistent messaging, reduced time to create content, reduced costs to maintain content, reduced translation costs, and powerful multichannel conversion capabilities. XML is creating a profound shift in the way we create, manage, deliver and control marketing materials. It is a shift that is resulting in significant ROI and increased levels of success.

Rockley, Ann. Rockley Group, The (2009). Articles>Content Management>Marketing>XML


XML and SOA (Service-Oriented Applications)

The realization of SOA through Web services is intrinsically driven by core XML technologies. The emergence of service-oriented design principles, however, is affecting how XML technologies are utilized and positioned within contemporary solutions.

Erl, Thomas. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML>User Centered Design


XML Architecture for Customized User Assistance

To create a specific deliverable, you collect all of the relevant topics and wrap information around them. A printed book, for instance, contains topics grouped into chapters along with front and back matter.

O'Keefe, Sarah S. WritersUA (2005). Articles>Information Design>Help>XML


XML Architecture for Customized User Assistance

Content reuse enables technical communicators to create multiple deliverables from a single set of source documents. A key component of reuse is identifying which information belongs in which deliverable. Some customization is feasible with build tags (RoboHelp), conditional text (FrameMaker), topic reuse (FrameMaker and AuthorIT), and similar features.

O'Keefe, Sarah S. WritersUA (2005). Articles>Documentation>XML>Adobe FrameMaker


An XML Architecture for Technical Documentation: The Darwin Information Typing Architecture   (PDF)

DITA is an architecture for creating topicoriented, information-typed content that can be reused and single-sourced in a variety of ways. It is also an architecture for creating new information types and describing new information domains, allowing groups to create very specific, targeted document type definitions using a process called specialization, while at the same time reusing common output transforms and design rules. We discuss several methods that can be used to extend DITA’s basic topic types.

Day, Don, Erik Hennum, John Hunt, Michael Priestley and David Schell. STC Proceedings (2003). Articles>Information Design>Metadata>XML



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