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.

 

526.
#27640

An XML Architecture for Technical Documentation: The Darwin Information Typing Architecture

DITA is an architecture for creating topic-oriented, 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, David Schell and Nancy Harrison. WritersUA (2004). Articles>Documentation>XML>DITA

527.
#33730

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

DITA is an architecture for creating topic-oriented, 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, David Schell and Nancy Harrison. WritersUA (2004). Articles>Documentation>XML>DITA

528.
#31615

XML Arrives in Word 2003

The XML train is finally pulling into the station. It brings an ocean change in the way we create, store, and manage information. In October of last year, Microsoft released Office 2003, which brings the promise of XML to the desktop. Previously, Word 2000 saved only the Properties of documents in an XML module in files converted to HTML. In this new edition, you can save or export all Office documents as XML documents. Using XML tags, we can now identify various elements of our documents for manipulation, storage, and retrieval as you would data in a data bank. It also enables us to more easily share information in those documents across other applications (including Web applications), networks, and operating systems.

DuBay, William H. Impact Information (2005). Articles>Document Design>XML>Microsoft Word

529.
#10751

XML Articles and Papers

The following list of articles and papers on XML represents a mixed collection of references: articles in professional journals, slide sets from presentations, press releases, articles in trade magazines, Usenet News postings, etc. Some are from experts and some are not; some are refereed and others are not; some are semi-technical and others are popular; some contain errors and others don't. Discretion is strongly advised. The articles are listed approximately in the reverse chronological order of their appearance. Publications covering specific XML applications may be referenced in the dedicated sections rather than in the following listing.

Cover, Robin. Cover Pages. Design>Information Design>XML

530.
#25724

XML as Intermediate Application Layer

In this article I want to share my thoughts on techniques for keeping our code XML-based - so there's no need to get your hands dirty in your application code to change the markup that is rendered afterwards.

Opitz, Pascal. Content with Style (2005). Design>Web Design>Server Side Includes>XML

531.
#33905

XML Authoring for Those Who Don't Like Markup

Advances in word processing technology now enable people to author simple documents in an interface they are familiar with. They no longer need to know a lot about markup, the schema in use, or be distracted by other concerns than writing what they want to write. This simpler interface, built upon a Microsoft "Smart Doc" solution provides support for authors who are focused on the content they are writing rather than the markup that describes it. At the same time, the author is producing valid XML that can be routed for review and approval, used for multi-channel delivery, or reused by other authors in the enterprise. Several scenarios of how such an authoring/management system could be used to solve business challenges are described.

Parsons, Jon. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>Software>XML

532.
#31736

XML Authoring: Coming to a Desktop Near You

XML for use in technical publications is growing in popularity. As the author explains, technical writers are likely to become more and more involved in XML document production in the future. This article looks at the many benefits of XML authoring and the trend that's moving technical publications toward structured content.

Abel, Scott. Writing Assistance (2007). Articles>Content Management>XML>Technical Writing

533.
#32185

XML Authoring: Coming to a Desktop Near You

Organizations are moving business documents to structured XML authoring -- a technology that was once reserved for only the bravest of technical publications departments. They are using new tools that make the transition much easier, even for completely non-technical authors, and they are reaping benefits that will drive structured authoring in XML across the entire organization.

Abel, Scott. TechCom Manager (2007). Articles>Writing>XML

534.
#22644

The XML Basics

XML was designed to be multi-lingual. Therefore, one is not restricted to only 7-bit ASCII characters when creating XML documents. Document authors can use the 16-bit+ Unicode 2.1 standard as well. As long as a mapping exists between the various DTDs for a particular international data file, one application could process data from many different languages at once.

Duffy, Scott. XGuru (2003). Design>Information Design>XML

535.
#29585

XML Basics

XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. XML is used to aid the exchange of data. The language makes it possible to define data in a structured way. XML tags are not predefined like HTML. XML lets you create your own unique tags that are meaningful for your data, hence the use of the term 'extensible.'

Zaman, Mamun. Dev Articles (2007). Articles>Information Design>Standards>XML

536.
#13112

XML Basics and FAQ   (PDF)

The World Wide Web Consortium, the standards body for all web technologies, describes XML as a “method for putting structured data in a text file” (See www.w3.org/XML/1999/XML-in-10-points.) That’s accurate, but doesn’t really describe what XML is. This session will attempt to cover the basics of what XML is and answer the questions most frequently asked by technical writers.

Manning, Steve. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>Web Design>XML

537.
#19458

XML Basics and FAQ   (PDF)

The World Wide Web Consortium, the standards body for all web technologies, describes XML as a “method for putting structured data in a text file” (See www.w3.org/XML/1999/XML-in-10-points.. That’s accurate, but doesn’t really describe what XML is.

Manning, Steve. STC Proceedings (2001). Articles>Information Design>XML

538.
#21703

XML Basics for Technical Communicators   (PowerPoint)

What is XML? Cross-platform, software and hardware independent tool for storing information. A subset of SGML. Its goal is to enable generic SGML to be served and processed on the Web in a way that is now possible with HTML. XML has been designed for ease of implementation and for interoperability with both SGML and HTML.

Pujar, Amit. STC India (2003). Presentations>Information Design>TC>XML

539.
#21654

XML Basics: Reading and Writing

This chapter covers the two most important tasks in working with XML: reading it into memory and writing it out again. XML is a structured, predictable, and standard data storage format, and as such carries a price.

Ray, Erik T. and Jason McIntosh. O'Reilly and Associates (2002). Design>Information Design>Programming>XML

540.
#22746

The XML Book Business

After spending a week of toil and labor in the Semantic Web mines, I've returned to the surface, to the sweetness and light of the XML developer community. And what do I find but a crisis about the XML part of the technical book publishing industry, as well as a monster thread about character entity names.

Clark, Kendall Grant. XML.com (2003). Articles>Publishing>Information Design>XML

541.
#22805

XML Can Go to H***: One Designer's Experience with the "Future of Publishing"

Ask any guru about the next frontier in publishing and you'll hear the snazzy-sounding letters 'XML.' But according to Susan Glinert, who bears XML battle scars, the future is not bright. It boggles the mind that anyone bothered to invent a publishing solution that plunges both right- and left-brained people into absolute chaos.

Glinert, Susan. Creative Pro (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML

542.
#14782

The XML Checklist   (PDF)

Yates provides a checklist of requirements that managers can use to determine if XML is an appropriate technology for their technical writing departments.

Yates, Valerie I. Intercom (2002). Design>Information Design>XML

543.
#33304

XML Content Authoring: Interview with Michael Boses

An interview with Michael Boses about his new role with Quark, the need for user-friendly content-authoring tools, and the role of structured content in the dynamic-publishing paradigm.

Abel, Scott. Dynamic Publisher, The (2008). Articles>Content Management>XML

544.
#35075

XML Content Management the Dr. Macro Way: Simple Is Good

Because most of CMS integration efforts will be concentrated on the boundaries, it further supports the engineering conclusion that minimizing the amount of effort spent on the core functionality is good because it maximizes the amount of the total implementation budget that can be spent on implementing the boundary functionality.

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

545.
#29978

XML Data Binding

XML became an integral part of Microsoft's strategy around the time of Internet Explorer 4. IE4 was an XML-aware browser. As well as displaying HTML documents, it could also display XML documents through an inbuilt XML parser. Another part of IE4 was something known as the XML DSO (Data Source Object). The XML DSO allows you to manipulate primitive XML 'data islands' by binding (or attaching) the XML data to HTML presentation elements. The XML elements within Internet Explorer continue to be improved and added to with every new IE release.

Self, Tony. HyperWrite (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>Web Browsers

546.
#33839

XML Data Binding: Integrating XML and Object-Oriented Technologies

Data are the essence of business processes and technical applications, and managing data effectively is critical for success in any industry. To that end, XML has emerged as the dominant syntax for data management. The fundamental organizing principle of XML is hierarchy. Parent-child relationships among data are maintained to infinite depth through markup. Hierarchies also serve as a critical component of XML’s validation capability. An XML Schema document defines the rules for structuring data within an XML instance by describing a finite set of hierarchy sequences and an explicit set of sequences of elements within them. Hierarchy, therefore, is the underlying principle of data management in XML.

Chaudhuri, Neil. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML

547.
#34240

XML Design for Relational Storage   (PDF)

Design principles for XML schemas that eliminate redundancies and avoid update anomalies have been studied recently. Several normal forms, generalizing those for relational databases, have been proposed. All of them, however, are based on the assumption of a native XML storage, while in practice most of XML data is stored in relational databases. In this paper we study XML design and normalization for relational storage of XML documents. To be able to relate and compare XML and relational designs, we use an information-theoretic framework that measures information content in relations and documents, with higher values corresponding to lower levels of redundancy. We show that most common relational storage schemes preserve the notion of being well-designed (i.e., anomalies- and redundancy-free). Thus, existing XML normal forms guarantee well-designed relational storages as well. We further show that if this perfect option is not achievable, then a slight restriction on XML constraints guarantees a “second-best” relational design, according to possible values of the information-theoretic measure. We finally consider an edge-based relational representation of XML documents, and show that while it has similar information-theoretic properties with other relational representations, it can behave significantly worse in terms of enforcing integrity constraints.

Kolahi, Solmaz and Leonid Libkin. WWW 2007 (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>Databases

548.
#30114

XML Development Resources

XML will change the way you develop and integrate your databases.

Trytten, Chris. FileMaker Advisor (2002). Articles>Information Design>Databases>XML

549.
#33835

XML Document Formats

As world events and business opportunities collide, the requirements for interoperable document formats become increasingly evident. Mandating XML for systems is a first step, but real information can't be shared effectively without a common understanding on the semantics and usage of the markup. One solution is to use agreed-on custom schemas. Another is to cite well-standardized formats such as XHTML, or deploy more specific XML formats such as Microsoft Office XML or the OpenDocument Format. None of these latter formats were written with a particular semantic usage in mind. They are of more general applicability than custom-built schemas, can be used for human-readable documents, and can be built into specific tools.

Bullard, C. Len. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Information Design>Standards>XML

550.
#31165

XML Documentation: The Missing Link (1)

Technical documentation is a prime beneficiary of XML technology, with standards such as DocBook and DITA. However, while XML revolutionized the way technical documentation is written, it did nothing to help documentation teams improve the collaboration process with the SMEs and other invested parties. In some cases, things got worse, with another layer of complexity added between the documentation team and the documentation stakeholders. Where is the missing link?

Talbot, Fabrice. LiveTechDocs (2008). Articles>Documentation>Software>XML

 
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