Using WordPress natively for single source publishing and conditional content


In this series, I’m exploring ways to author in DITA and publish with WordPress. In previous posts, some commenters wondered whether it would be possible to simply author everything in WordPress, rather than continually importing from DITA. In this post, I’ll explore that model. One of the strengths of authoring content directly in WordPress is Continue Reading »

Upcoming presentation in downtown San Francisco: Publishing strategies for API documentation


10/15/2014 update: For the slides and recording, see this post. I’m giving the following presentation to the San Francisco STC Chapter on October 15: Publishing strategies for API documentation Most of the common tools for publishing help material fall short when it comes to API documentation. Much API documentation (such as for Java, C++, or Continue Reading »

Thirteen life hacks


The other day I ran across a post detailing 46 brilliant life hacks. Since then I’ve been mulling over a few of my own life hacks and wanted to share them here. The following are a few tips that have worked for me. They are totally random, covering “life” in general, but I’ll share them Continue Reading »

Author in DITA, publish with WordPress


If you’ve been following my posts lately, you’ve seen me explore the tools question numerous times. In this post, I’ll explore combining structured authoring with web publishing on WordPress. In a nutshell, here’s the main idea: structured authoring tools are great for authoring content. Web platforms are great for publishing content. My plan is to Continue Reading »

Woes of conditional text and topichead elements (DITA best practices)


When authoring in DITA, there are a couple of best (or worst) practices that I wasn’t aware of. The first is with conditional text; the second is with topichead elements: Cautions with conditional text Noz Urbina has written two excellent articles about the dangers of going overboard with conditional text. When Conditional Content Goes Wild: Continue Reading »

Benefits of tool diversity, part II

In my previous post, Is tool fragmentation a good thing?, I lamented the trend toward tool fragmentation in the tech comm community, noting several disadvantages that fragmentation brings: fragmentation of community and knowledge sharing increased overhead of learning new tools frustration with HR departments who expect strong knowledge of their chosen tool (among hundreds) I Continue Reading »

Is tool fragmentation in tech comm a good thing?


One of the attendees from Alan Houser‘s recent presentation at InfodevDEC meetup in Virginia the other night noted the following: #techcomm trends/hypes, from @arh: There's no one technology that a majority of people are using. @infodevdc — John Collins (@jrc_collins) August 4, 2014 Juxtapose this tweet about Alan’s presentation with the recent WritersUA Tools Survey Continue Reading »