We found out yesterday that our work has been referenced in another two academic papers (http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/sims/mem/rick/pdfs/e_smart_report1.pdf and
http://www.acsg.mcmaster.ca/group/techreps.acg/CAS03-15-SP.pdf), which is (1) pleasant and (2) a surprise.
For anyone interested in what the next version of Word should look like in a year or so’s time:
It’s interesting to see that Microsoft is moving away from File|Edit|View|Insert etc user interface, having a “ribbon” and Write|Insert|Page Layout|References|Review| etc instead. Given File|Edit|View|Insert has been copied by pretty much every Windows developer, will other developers copy this new approach? If they have over 100 functions in their application, then they could well do so.
Adobe has announced FrameMaker 7.2. New features include the ability to use XML schemas instead of DTDs, XSLT capabilities when converting content to or from XML and multiple undo. There’s also new structured templates and a migration guide for structured content conversion.
I’ve been invited to do a talk on “Documentation project planning and metrics – accurate costing and reporting for technical publications projects.” It’s always interesting to discover all the differnt ways that people tackle this issue. JoAnn Hackos’ method seems to be the most popular method, but scoping can still be seen as an art rather than a science. How do others tackle this issue?
As we move from summer into autumn, it’s still a surprise to think that there are just 15 weeks to go until those Christmas deadlines.
Autumn’s in the air so join us and your fellow technical communicators in toasting the end of summer.
Our last networking event was a great success and we’re hoping to organise them on a regular basis. If you missed the last one here’s an opportunity for you to share your ideas, thoughts and problems with other tech authors in the relaxed environment of the pub. Join us between 18.30 and 22.00 hours on Wednesday 14th September for a few drinks and food at The Colonies pub, central London. Contact us to sign up and get more details. We look forward to more similar events happening around the country.
One of the most vexing questions facing managers who produce learning and communication materials for the workplace is: “How can I demonstrate that my department does quality work, so our employer continues to invest in this work?”
This study, conducted by a researcher from Concordia University, is intended to shed some insights into this. The survey is conducted online and takes between 30 and 40 minutes to complete. All responses are kept confidential; participants’ responses are not linked with the results. The survey runs until September 8, 2005. http://www.hostedsurvey.com/takesurvey.asp?c=PEM_Jul_05
There has been an interesting debate going on in one of the online forums for Indian Technical Writers on the differences between Indian and the UK Technical writers. The biggest differences seem to be the cultural differences and work practices (how debates are resolved etc,), and that Indian English (“Hinglish”) is different to British or American English. The primary differences are in the writing styles and the terminology.
It was also argued that Indian Technical Writers haven’t had the benefit of studying technical communication to graduate or post-graduate level, and that Indian writers are generally younger than UK/US technical writers.