Alan Houser and Vici Koster-Lenhardt are running for the office of Vice President of the Society for Technical Communication. If you missed the live webcast, watch this recording to get to know the candidates.
Let me qualify (heavily): this is, seriously, a rant.
I started at Scriptorium in June (2010), and since then I’ve learned more than I did in my entire time in the tech comm MS program I was enrolled in. And what’s more, the knowledge I’ve gained here has been useful.
The ePub spec is long and very formal, but the format itself is fairly straightforward. And while building an ePub by hand is not complicated in itself, reworking content from other formats can be tricky.
Scriptorium hosts Tristan Bishop of Symantec as he muses on technical communicators’ evolving roles.
This webcast demonstrates using the DITA-FMx plugin with FrameMaker 9 to author, edit, and create output from DITA content. Topics covered during the demo include creating DITA topics using different options and templates and generating a book from the map and then saving to a PDF file.
Formatting Object (FO) processors (FOP, in particular) often fail with memory errors when processing very large documents for PDF output. Typically in XSL:FO, the body of a document is contained in a single fo:page-sequence element. When FO documents are converted to PDF output, the FO processor holds an entire fo:page-sequence in memory to perform pagination adjustments over the span of the sequence. Very large page counts can result in memory overflows or Java heap space errors.
The rise of Web 2.0 technology provides a platform for user-generated content. Publishing is no longer restricted to a few technical writers—any user can now contribute information. But the information coming from users tends to be highly specific, whereas technical documentation is comprehensive but less specific. The two types of information can coexist and improve the overall user experience.
Moving a desktop publishing–based workgroup into structured authoring requires authors to master new concepts, such as hierarchical content organization, information chunking with elements, and metadata labeling with attributes. In addition to these technical challenges, the implementation itself presents significant difficulties. This paper describes Scriptorium Publishing’s methodology for implementing structured authoring environments. This document is intended primarily as a roadmap for our clients, but it could be used as a starting point for any implementation.