We look at the pros and cons of using the DITA standard, and the alternatives.
This October, Cherryleaf celebrates 15 years in the technical authoring business.
Over the years we have had many exciting challenges and worked with some wonderful inspirational people: none more so than our friend and co-founder, Carol Johnston, who sadly died of a brain tumour in 2012. Carol was enormously talented: a brilliant pianist and singer, a Cambridge Maths graduate and an excellent author. She contributed so much to Cherryleaf, and we miss her as much for her sense of humour as for her problem-solving abilities.
To celebrate Carol’s life and contribution to Cherryleaf, as well as our 15 years in business we have created the Carol Johnston Memorial Award. Carol was a great teacher and trainer – knowledgeable, professional and patient. She trained many authors over the years and would be, we hope, very pleased to continue contributing to the technical authoring world through the Carol Johnston Memorial.
The Carol Johnston Memorial Award is the chance for two young European Technical Authors (or erstwhile Technical Authors) under the age of 30 and living in Europe to access all Cherryleaf’s online courses free for 12 months. These courses include: our ISTC accredited training course which teaches the fundamentals of being a tech author; our Advanced technical writing course, and our WriteLessons courses.
To apply, all you have to do is send us a brief statement explaining why you want to have access to the Carol Johnston Memorial Award courses. We’ll draw two winners in December.
Back in July, we looked at creating an API documentation portal using MadCap Flare (see also: Example of API documentation portal using MadCap Flare) .
We done some further testing. We’ve created two new examples for API documentation that had been generated with the Stripe API look and feel and imported into Flare:
- Example A – Replacing the standard left hand Table of Contents with Flare’s local TOC on the right hand side.
- Example B – Removing the standard left-hand Table of Contents, so the descriptions and code samples can use the full width of the topic.
To compare the two, here is the standard “Stripe API” left-hand Table of Contents when imported into Flare.
We’ve not made any changes to the default Heading styles from the source files. The stylesheets would needed to be modified to make them consistent with the styles used on the other HTML pages in the project.
Our client is looking for a contract Technical Author to assist the in-house Technical Author, in updating the hardware manuals and software user guide for a range of new product releases. These are published as PDFs and printed manuals.
The company sells scanning and imaging equipment. The work involves taking the existing manuals and updating them, using Microsoft Word.
You will need to visit the client near Swindon, Wiltshire, to get hands on experience with hardware and software. Other than that, you would be able to work off site.
The client estimates the project will be around 6 weeks’ work. There may be opportunities further work in the future. The client has not specified a rate.
To apply, please contact Cherryleaf.
Cherryleaf’s Ellis Pratt will be speaking at the Write2Users Conference 2017 , which is being held 1-3 November at Copenhagen Zoo.
“The mission is to give attendees new skills for their day-to-day work with technical documentation and translation. You will learn about process optimization, new methodologies and new technologies. All delivered by industry experts, in-house specialists and practitioners from Scandinavia and abroad.”
Ellis will be speaking on “Agile in an Authoring World”.
The technical communication Venn diagram laptop stickers we created have been very popular. We’ve ordered more of them, and we’ve created some new designs. The new stickers have quotations from some of the people we’ve interviewed on the Cherryleaf podcast.
The stickers should arrive by the end of the month. Like before, we’ll post them off to anyone based in Europe who wants them.