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XML in Technical Communication

by nForms on December 6, 2011

In recent years Extensible Markup Language (XML) has had a major impact on software development and data interchange and has begun to have a similar effect in technical communication. XML provides a platform-independent, vendor-neutral source language for publishing documentation of all kinds and in any output format. XML solutions have already been adopted by many technical publication departments, while others are poised to make the move to XML. Authoring tools, publishing tools and content management systems are providing support for XML languages, in particular Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), one of the XML languages designed specifically for technical documentation. Increasingly, technical communicators therefore need to understand what XML has to offer and how it can be used in the various areas of technical communication. This book fills an important gap in the market by providing a broad introduction to XML and its role in technical communication. It describes the basics of XML syntax and terminology, the use of XML in technical communication and the advantages it can bring to the production of technical documentation of all types. It introduces the key XML languages that are used for technical documentation, both as documentation source formats and for transforming source documents to various output formats. The book will be invaluable to anyone who needs a fast introduction to XML and its role in technical communication, such as those whose organization is deploying an XML-based documentation solution, or freelancers who need to keep pace with technical trends. It caters for technical communicators of all levels of markup language experience, providing a comprehensive yet easy to read overview of the use of XML in technical communication, as well as references to more in-depth material. Charles Cowan FISTC is a Principal Technical Writer with the Oracle Corporation. He has worked as a technical communicator for over a quarter of a century, developing documentation for various clients and software companies in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, as well as in the UK and Ireland. He is an IBM Certified Developer in XML and Related Technologies and holds postgraduate qualifications in computing and software development.

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XML in Technical Communication

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