After a lengthy hiatus, the podcast is back. Recently, Aaron and I had the pleasure of talking with Anne Gentle about wikis, the OLPC project, documenting Open Source, and more. It’s an interesting way to spend about 47 minutes of your time.
You can listen to the podcast here, or use the player below.
Presentations are slowly becoming more and more a part of the professional life of DMN Communications. Aaron and I have found that we enjoy presentations — both giving them and the process or creating them.
I’ll be giving a presentation next month at DocTrain East 2008. Usually, the process that Aaron and I use to develop a presentation is:
- Create an outline
- Write the script for the presentation
- Build the slides
This time around, I took a different approach — I built the slides and am writing the script around the slides. In essence, I’m building the story around the images in the slides.
Strangely enough, the process has been working. Using the outlines and the slides I’ve been able to write a pretty good script. I’m still in the process of refining it, but the results are better than I expected.
The problem I had was creating the slides. I don’t like slideuments, and tend to follow the advice of presentation guru Garr Reynolds. I’m not the most visual person, and finding the right images was a bit of a challenge.
I’ll know on October 31st whether or not this process was successful. Check this space around that time for either a success story or a lament on screwing up.
Do you give presentations? If so, what’s you’re process? Feel free to leave a comment.
Aaron and I have quite a bit to tackle over the next little while. Well, we have quite a bit to tackle always. But this stretch of work is particularly gruelling. So, we won’t have much time to blog over the next week. We do have a couple of surprises in store, though. Keep checking back here for more information.
It’s been a while since I’ve cruised the Opera Developer Community, and that’s a shame. Why? There’s a lot of interesting information on authoring with HTML/XHTML and CSS there. And you can easily adapt the tips and tricks in those articles to online documentation.
Here are three articles that caught my attention:
First up, “Zebra striping tables with CSS3“, which is a guide to using alternate shading to make a table more readable. Tools like WebWorks do that automatically, but you never know when you’ll have to tweak the shading to fit your needs. This article explains how.
Interested in creating mobile content? Or are you just being forced to? Then read “Mobile markup – XHTML Basic 1.1“, which offers a good introduction on how to use XHTML to author that content.
Of course, you don’t want your mobile content to look blah. And plain HTML/XHTML does look blah. But CSS can come to the rescue. “Mobile style – CSS Mobile Profile 2.0” introduces CSS Mobile Profile 2.0 — a CSS for mobile content.
Have any favourite HTML, XHTML, and CSS articles or resources? If so, leave a comment.
It’s common currency in some technical communication circles to deride DocBook as being dead. If not dead, then gasping its last. But documents authored with DocBook do turn up in a number of unexpected, and expected, places. Places like the documentation for free and Open Source projects. And even at a commercial publisher or two. Like who? Like O’Reilly Media. O’Reilly, according to the DocBook wiki, has “a pure-DocBook workflow for books (from author manuscript to the printer PDFs)”.
This guide (when prompted, enter guest as the user name and leave the password blank) discusses how to get started writing with DocBook. Admittedly, the guide is aimed at authors working on books for O’Reilly, but you can probably learn something from the sections on using Subversion and working with XXE (a popular XML editor).
If nothing else, this guide is an interesting look at an XML-based writing and publishing workflow.