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Soft Skills of a Technical Writer

What soft skills should technical writers have when they start their career? Linguistic and technical understanding is important in our profession. So are the soft skills - just like in any other job. more ...

RDF is not XML – RDF serialization and iiRDS metadata

The world of technical writing loves XML. Its document type definitions are the foundation of structured authoring. XML and the underlying schemas structure the content of our information products. The benefits are twofold. Content is consistently structured and easy to read. Authors have an easier time writing the content. The structure provides guidelines for authoring. more ...

How to become a technical writer – Confessions of a former translator

A former translator, I worked the first seven years of my professional life in the translation industry, in various positions. While I learned a lot from this experience, it also left me, as a writer, frustrated. Translators are chained to their source text and writing the words of others in another language, usually focusing on what their clients want. more ...

tekom impressions part 2: API documentation and the VUKA world

Daniela Herbold and Ulrike Parson write about better API documentation and solutions for innovative human resources management. more ...

Impressions from tcworld 2017

Part 1: Improvisation, fluff hunt, and videos for technical documentation. more ...

DITA Europe Conference: Rubbing Elbows With the XML Stars

If you are interested in XML-based documentation, you should attend the DITA Europe Conference. This year's DITA Europe conference took place in Munich again. For me it was the first DITA Europe, but certainly not the last.

DITA Europe is hardly comparable to the tekom conference/TC World . DITA Europe is smaller, the atmosphere almost cozy. Yet, it is an international event. No talks were given in German; there were few German speakers, exhibitors, and visitors. Instead, many international XML stars to rub elbows with. At the DITA Europe, software manufacturers meet DITA standard experts.

Among the presented XML technologies were XLIFF, XSLT, XSL:FO, XProc, MathML, and Schematron. Some speakers embedded in their presentations the software development tools they use in their processes: version control tools like Git and Subversion, build tools like Ant and Maven, but also integration tools, such as Jenkins or Travis.

The quality of the presentations was high. The speakers let us look behind the scenes and showed practical examples and running code. Only few speakers just scratched the surface by presenting sketches or screenshots.

Lisa Lambert from the American organizer CIDM, the woman behind DITA Europe, indicated that they were very satisfied with the venue. In an open feedback session during the final event, however, some participans complained that the conference took place shortly after the tekom conference was over. Some also complained about the weather in Munich and suggested Barcelona instead. Wherever it will be, the DITA Europe is worth the journey.

Tags: DITA

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