Entries for UK Technical Communication Awards 2015 are now open. Click to apply.

“Exploring the XML of DITA” – NW Group Report

The group met on 7th March for a presentation by Richard Pineger on ‘Exploring the XML of DITA’.  Richard introduced the basic ideas behind DITA, then went on to demonstrate how they can be used in practice with the oXygen XML editing tool.  We looked at how to create topics of different types, how oXygen helps the author to create valid DITA and how to publish the same content to four different outputs.  Richard also demonstrated some of oXygen’s more powerful features, such as it’s Xpath search function – something I will definitely be making use of in future.  Finally we looked at source control and how to use subversion to manage DITA content.

Richard demonstrated how it is possible for a lone author, using free or very affordable tools, to author successfully in DITA.  The authoring tools (especially oXygen) are getting more user-friendly all the time and it gave me a lot of ideas on how to help my smaller clients, without the budget for a CCMS, begin their DITA journey.

Cambridge Group: See how another company does tech doc, in detail

Show and Tell – 16th April at 19:00.

Are you interested in making video for technical documentation and marketing, come and see how someone does it.

Join us on Tuesday 16th April at a new venue for an insight by Gerry Cavander on how his company does technical documentation.

Gerry  will demonstrate the documentation  tools used at ThirdLight and the key elements of the documentation design.  Perhaps the highlight here is the use of video as an integral part of the tech  doc and the marketing collateral. All tech doc and videos are produced  in-house by Gerry who believes most Tech / Marcomm writers can and should use  this format which still has a long way to go in terms of deployment techniques  and scenarios.

For more information about the Intelligent Media Server made by ThirdLight please see their web site.

For more details on the new venue and how to get there and to book your free ticket go to EventBrite.

North West Regional Group – Exploring the XML of DITA

Our next meeting will be on the 7th March
Title: Exploring the XML of DITA
Speaker: Richard Pineger
Location: MadLab, 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HN
Abstract: The web abounds with reasons to use DITA and information about the benefits of reuse and single-sourcing but, what do you actually DO? This talk dives into the detail to start to fill out the experience part of your exposure to DITA XML.
  • The XML editor, map manager, and the topic editor
  • xpath search and regular expressions
  • Collaborative version control with subversion
  • Simple XSL for making repeated changes

Booking: Reserve your place here http://xmldita.eventbrite.co.uk/#

TCUK 2013 Call for Proposals now open

The Technical Communication UK Conference (TCUK) 2013, hosted by the ISTC, is the flagship annual event for technical communicators in the UK. This year’s conference takes place in Bristol, on 24th- 26th September 2013, and the Call for Proposals is now open. You have until 5th April 2013 to submit your proposal.

Regardless of whether you want to present for the first time or you are a seasoned conference speaker, we want to hear from you. We don’t mind if you are new to technical communication or if you have worked in this field for ever, if you have something to say to other technical communicators then TCUK 2013 is your chance to say it.

Visit the Call for Proposals page for a list of suggested topics and for information on how to submit your proposal.

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