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DOC Tables of Contents: 919293949596979899000102030405060708091011

IEEE ACM 19th International Conference on Computer Documentation

Fullname:19th International Conference on Computer Documentation
Note:Communicating in the New Millennium
Location:Sante Fe, New Mexico, USA
Dates:2001-Oct-21 to 2001-Oct-24
Standard No:ISBN: 1-58113-295-6; ACM Order Number: 6131010; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: DOC01
Links:Conference Home Page
  1. Tutorials
  2. Workshop
  3. Panel
Communicating effectively with interaction BIBAFull-Text 1-6
  Andrea L. Ames
The ability to build interactions that support, enable, and improve communication is a valuable skill for help developers, Web-site designers, multimedia content developers, information-rich user interface designers-anyone who designs and develops information to be used online. This paper presents the basics of interaction design for information products and describes some basic underlying human factors and user-interface design principles.
Learnability in information design BIBAFull-Text 7-11
  Kathy Haramundanis
Design of information used for technical communication of complex products should consider how learnable that information is, and strive to deliver materials that are inherently learnable.
   The speed of information interchange and the demands of the workplace and school curricula require increasingly minimalist approaches to the material that is made available. People are frustrated by long learning times, and new users of software tools demand rapid absorption of tool capabilities. In addition, many readers of technical information are people for whom English is not their native language.
   Methods and practices that worked in the period when people were willing to commit to hours of study to understand a topic, or days of practice to master a tool, no longer work in a world based on 'internet time.' To assist our understanding of these trends in learning, this paper addresses three key areas related to learnability: proposing a definition of learnability, showing where learnability and usability intersect, and providing a basis for learnability based on some attributes of human beings.
"Yes, but does it scale?": practical considerations for database-driven information systems BIBAFull-Text 12-21
  John Russell
This paper explores the process of designing and implementing a database-driven system of online documentation, and putting it live on the web for customers to use. Using real-life examples, it discusses practical considerations for balancing performance, scalability, and reliability.
Design concepts for learning spatial relationships BIBAFull-Text 22-30
  Giuliano Benelli; Maurizio Caporali; Antonio Rizzo; Elisa Rubegni
Maps are cognitive artifacts that represent not only the characteristics of the information space but also the use people make of the space. There are three privileged modalities by which humans learn the relationships in existing spaces: path-based learning, landmark-based learning and survey learning. These three modalities are differently sustained by maps and by the real environments. Maps afford Simultaneous experience of the space, Single point of view, Survey knowledge, Secondary spatial activity; while real environments afford Progressive Experience of the space, Multiple point of view, Procedural knowledge, Primary Spatial activity. The most important attempts to modify these differences between maps and real environments, and to merge their properties, have been: a) the creation of visual structures that enable focus + context views; b) the design of information landscapes that enable free flight in 3D space. The principles used to obtain such a view are the combination of Simultaneous and Progressive Experience of the space as a Primary spatial activity.
   We are designing new views for a graphic information system by merging the affordances of traditional maps and real environments for learning spatial relations. The emerging views will be presented and discussed from a theoretical point of view and exemplified in their application to the design of an information system for a National Park in Italy. The prototype of the information system was tested by human factors specialists and by end-users; the results of the test show both strength, and weakness, in the implementation of the proposed design concepts.
Semiotic engineering contributions for designing online help systems BIBAFull-Text 31-38
  Milene Selbach Silveira; Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza; Simone D. J. Barbosa
Our goal is to improve the content of help systems and provide better access to it, by giving users opportunities to signal breakdowns during interaction. To this end, we use a semiotic engineering model that explores both direct and indirect messages sent from designers to users via systems' interfaces. These messages represent how the designers conceived of the application, how they built it, and why. The online help system is an important component, because this is where designers have the best chances to explicitly express their vision. In this paper we review some of the classifications used to characterize help systems, and suggest that user-intent sensitivity should be explored as a new classification if we are targeting at efficient designer/user communication. We allow users to signal their intents by choosing among a limited set of predefined utterances, which provide an entry point to a cohesive discourse structure. The discourse is about the application's design rationale, and the operational and tactical instructions about how to use the application. Coupled with the application's conceptual model, and also the task and interaction models, these utterances allow help systems to provide information with increased probability of addressing the user's intentions.
Example elaboration as a neglected instructional strategy BIBAFull-Text 39-46
  T. R. Girill
Over the last decade an unfolding cognitive-psychology research program on how learners use examples to develop effective problem-solving expertise has yielded well-established empirical findings. Chi et al., Renkl, Reimann, and Neubert (in various papers) have confirmed statistically significant differences in how good and poor learners inferentially elaborate ("self-explain") example steps as they study. Such example elaboration is highly relevant to software documentation and training, yet largely neglected in the current literature.
   This paper summarizes the neglected research on example use and puts its neglect in a disciplinary perspective. I then show that differences in support for example elaboration in commercial software documentation reveal previously overlooked usability issues. These issues involve example summaries, using goals and goal structures to reinforce example elaborations, and prompting readers to recognize the role of example parts.
   Secondly, I show how these same example elaboration techniques can build cognitive maturity among underperforming high-school students who study technical writing. Principle-based elaborations, condition elaborations, and role recognition of example steps all have their place in innovative, high-school-level, technical-writing exercises, and all promote far-transfer problem solving.
   Finally, I use these studies to clarify the constructivist debate over what writers and readers contribute to text meaning. I argue that writers can influence how readers elaborate on examples, and that because of the great empirical differences in example-study effectiveness (and reader choices) writers should do what they can (through within-text design features) to encourage readers to elaborate examples in the most successful ways.
Datacloud: expanding the roles and locations of information BIBAFull-Text 47-54
  Johndan Johnson-Eilola
This presentation traces the locations and roles of computer documentation over the latter half of the twentieth-century in order to construct a model of information/knowledge space as it relates to different forms of work. The paper then provides suggestions about future forms of documentation and interface based on ethnographic research of workers in recently emerging forms of work, including nonlinear audio/video production and videogame playing. The final section of the paper provides concrete suggestions about forms of documentation and interface that will be required to support these new forms of work.
Writers in the dot.com storm BIBAFull-Text 55-57
  Ceri Williams
The dot.com phenomenon is the subject matter of numerous anecdotes. At one time the stuff dreams are made of, the dream turned sour. Now those few companies still remaining try desperately to find buyers for their products before they run out of cash.
   However the dot.com experience provided a wealth of new experiences for me as a technical writer. The more casual approach to work made it possible for me to join the Product Design team during the spec and design phase of the project -- the technical writer's nirvana. However, as the financial squeeze was felt our company underwent several restructurings. This meant fewer people to complete the required work. As someone who was involved in the product spec sessions I now found myself doing more and more Business Analyst work, with technical writing and training work falling by the wayside.
   This paper examines my experiences in the design, development and implementation phases of a product, as a technical writer and as a general addition to the team. This paper also reviews the positive and negative effects my work in other areas had on my ability to perform as a technical writer.
Software development as mediated activity: applying three analytical frameworks for studying compound mediation BIBAFull-Text 58-67
  Clay Spinuzzi
Field research in software documentation has a tradition of investigating how artifacts (from documentation to online help to interfaces to mundane equipment such as Post-It notes) mediate or enable workers to perform complex tasks (see for instance [29]). Understanding artifacts and mediation can be key to understanding how well documentation supports work, and consequently, how we might design information to fit work patterns. Yet the field of technical communication has developed or adapted relatively few analytical frameworks for examining compound mediation, the ways that sets of artifacts work together to help workers get their jobs done. Such frameworks are important to understand because they provide us with guidance for investigating the mediatory relationships among artifacts -- guidance which has important ramifications for intelligently designing information systems and inserting designed artifacts (such as documentation) into existing systems.
   In this paper, I use three analytical frameworks -- contextual design's work models [4, 5, 23], distributed cognition's functional systems [1, 2, 13, 24], and genre ecologies [25, 26, 27, 28, 30] -- to examine observational and interview data from a 1997 study of software developers. The observational study is a 10-week investigation of 22 software developers at work, focusing on how artifacts (such as manuals, code comments, and the code itself) collectively mediated the developers' production and comprehension of code at three units of the same global corporation. The study provides a good case for basing a comparison of the three frameworks because it (a) involves comparing multiple artifacts and complex use of artifacts across the different sites, and (b) uses ethnographic methods similar to those often used by proponents of the three frameworks.
   By applying the three frameworks to the same study, I illustrate which aspects of compound mediation are illuminated and unexplored by each analytical framework. Based on the comparison, I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each framework for exploring compound mediation, and I suggest ways in which the frameworks might be coordinated to produce different pictures of work.
Editing computer hardware procedures for multimedia presentation BIBKFull-Text 68-72
  Sue Jackson
Keywords: animation, editing, hardware procedures, multimedia, service manuals
Successfully crossing the language translation divide BIBFull-Text 73-77
  David W. Dilts
CLAT: controlled language authoring technology BIBAFull-Text 78-82
  Johann Haller; Jorg Schutz
In this paper, we introduce our Controlled Language Authoring Technology which has been designed and implemented for its primary deployment in technical documentation and information processing environments. Its purpose is first and foremost to enhance the natural language products in this field in terms of readability and comprehensibility, and to provide a solid foundation for subsequent processes such as translation, dissemination, and information retrieval, including quality assurance processes. Our technology is a successful application of language technology in general, and it is an operational part of the information processing cycles at several industrial companies ranging from the auto industry to the software industry.
Interplay of language and culture in global E-commerce: a comparison of five companies' multilingual websites BIBAFull-Text 83-88
  Shaoyi He
This paper reports the results of a pilot study on the interplay of language and culture in global e-commerce, comparing the multilingual websites of five multinational companies, namely, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel and Microsoft. These five companies' websites in English are compared with the translated websites in both Simplified Chinese (SC) and Traditional Chinese (TC) in terms of contents and interfaces. The differences as well as similarities among the original websites in English and the translated websites in Simplified and Traditional Chinese are analyzed for the addition, omission and retention of linguistic and cultural elements. The results suggest that the adaptation to native language and local culture of the target audience and market is one of the important quality indicators for multilingual websites. The results also show that language and culture are inseparable for developing quality multilingual websites in global e-commerce.
Single sourcing for translations BIBAFull-Text 89-94
  Deborah A. Hysell
OCLC Online Computer Library Center has reduced costs and improved quality by using single sourcing in the localization of its services. For its FirstSearch reference service (which provides access to 80 databases for 18,000 libraries in 64 countries), OCLC has been through three phases of localization. Each phase has increased consistency and efficiency and lowered our translation costs. In the first phase of localizing FirstSearch in 1999, we introduced French and Spanish versions. The translation included the user interface screens and the help system. During this phase, we had minimal reuse of text in the interface and help files. The next year, OCLC released a major redesign of that service-with three levels of searching and greatly expanded database help. A separate administrative service and help system were also included. The translation task became much larger, and we needed to optimize the opportunities for text reuse in the system interfaces, help systems, and documentation. In the interfaces, all text strings were categorized and defined as entity strings-reused as needed among functions, databases, and user levels. For help and documentation, the needed content was analyzed and defined in an SGML DTD. Scripts were used to generate 240 help topics from a few SGML files. This approach reduced translation costs and facilitated consistency. Now in the third phase of localization, we are integrating our tool set, implementing a content management system, and adding support for Asian languages. Through this phase, we expect to reduce translation costs and improve quality.
Building a culturally-competent corporate web site: an exploratory study of cultural markers in multilingual web design BIBAFull-Text 95-102
  Huatong Sun
The localization of transnational corporate websites requires a strategy for designing usable web interfaces that can be easily accessed and understood by international audiences. With a discussion of a pilot study of cultural markers in two multilingual websites, this paper explores how we might accomplish website localization more effectively by defining criteria, searching for efficient and effective strategies and techniques, and evaluating current practices.
Issues of content and structure for a multilingual web site BIBAFull-Text 103-110
  Shihong Huang; Scott Tilley
Most content on the Web today is in English, but the majority of the Earth's peoples speak languages other than English. To reach a wider audience, future Web sites will have to be multilingual, changing a Web site from one that is American-centric and single-language to one that is globally-oriented and multilingual. While the challenges in creating and maintaining a high-quality Web site in a single language are considerable, working with multiple languages simultaneously creates special challenges, both culturally and technically. This paper outlines issues related to two important aspects of the problem: content and structure. Several representative Web sites are examined to illustrate some of these considerations.
Just what they need, just when they need it: an introduction to embedded assistance BIBAFull-Text 111-115
  Andrea L. Ames
Information-rich interfaces are proliferating right under our noses-both on the Web and on our desktops. As professional user advocates and technical communicators expert in designing information, we're in a key position to perform product-design roles as these interfaces are developed. To be fully prepared for this challenge, we must understand:
  • The change from typical desktop software interface design
  • Why traditional documentation deliverables, like help and printed manuals,
       are not serving our users
  • Why a more proactive approach to assistance helps our users (without them
       even knowing it)
  • Re-forming information: a case study in teaching content encapsulation BIBAFull-Text 116-121
      Rebecca Matson
    The challenges that face content management writers are not just tools, but the design principles and concepts underlying content management. This paper is a case study that explores the challenges of teaching writers both to create encapsulated content and to design that content within a user-centric approach to information design. The approach used in the class provided a fine-grained definition of information types to move the writers as far as possible from the traditional documentation approach. The insights presented in this case study are drawn from instructors' experiences in presenting a course in content encapsulation to technical writers, employed by a traditionally mainframe-based software company. Writer reactions suggested that the approach taught in the class assisted them in overcoming existing preconceptions of document design, user profiling, and content creation.
    Document-based inter-organizational information exchange BIBAFull-Text 122-131
      Reinhard Riedl
    In this paper, we present tour research work on document services for interstate e-government carried out in the FASME project. First, we depict the background for our research and we describe its basic challenges. Then we discuss the required services out of the perspective of inter-organizational document services and documentation issues. From the evaluations of our prototypical implementation with user groups, we may conclude that interstate e-government services are feasible and that life without personal documents in paper form may become possible.
    Open-source documentation: in search of user-driven, just-in-time writing BIBAFull-Text 132-141
      Erik Berglund; Michael Priestley
    Iterative development models allow developers to respond quickly to changing user requirements, but place increasing demands on writers who must handle increasing amounts of change with ever-decreasing resources. In the software development world, one solution to this problem is open-source development: allowing the users to set requirements and priorities by actually contributing to the development of the software. This results in just-in-time software improvements that are explicitly user-driven, since they are actually developed by users.
       In this article we will discuss how the open source model can be extended to the development of documentation. In many open-source projects, the role of writer has remained unchanged: documentation development remains a specialized activity, owned by a single writer or group of writers, who work as best they can with key developers and frequently out-of-date specification documents. However, a potentially more rewarding approach is to open the development of the documentation to the same sort of community involvement that gives rise to the software: using forums and mailing lists as the tools for developing documentation, driven by debate and dialogue among the actual users and developers.
       Just as open-source development blurs the line between user and developer, open-source documentation will blur the line between reader and writer. Someone who is a novice reader in one area may be an expert author in another. Two key activities emerge for the technical writer in such a model: as gatekeeper and moderator for FAQs and formal documentation, and as literate expert user of the system they are documenting.
    Users and uses of synchronous business communications software BIBAFull-Text 142-146
      David G. Novick; Eleanor Wynn
    To help designers and authors understand users' intentions and work practices for synchronous business communications in a systematic way, we used ethnographic and task-analytic techniques to collect, analyze and classify evidence of the activities of potential users as they conducted their work lives. The interactions we observed among our users took place through a variety of modalities. We found eight categories of tasks for the collaborative or interactive work in which our subjects engaged. Based on these data, we were able to classify roles of potential users of synchronous business communications software into a set of "archetypes" that characterize their use: Thinkers, Producers, Authors, Networkers and Diplomats. Issues raised by our work include questions about the nature of user archetypes, user tasks, and their modalities.
    A rhetoric of objects BIBAFull-Text 147-151
      Jonathan Price
    The Web demands a new rhetoric for communicators, transforming traditional modern and classical ideas of audience, invention, arrangement, style, delivery, memory, and ethos. This paper sketches a rhetoric that analyzes customized, personalized object-oriented content, delivered in many formats and media, as part of a continuous conversation.
    DITA XML: a reuse by reference architecture for technical documentation BIBAFull-Text 152-156
      Michael Priestley
    The Darwin Information Typing Architecture is an XML architecture for producing and reusing technical information. DITA promises the following:
  • Scalable reuse, so you can reuse content in any number of delivery contexts
       simultaneously without complicating the source
  • Descriptive markup, so you can use markup that describes your information in
       terms your customers need
  • Interchangeability, so you can treat specialized markup as if it were
       general, getting reuse of tools and processes defined at more general levels
       of descriptiveness
  • Process inheritance, so you can reuse existing process logic in your
       specialized processes. It accomplishes these goals by applying the principle of reuse by reference to the dimensions of content, design, and process within a technical communications workflow.
  • Transforming documentation from the XML doctypes used for the apache website to DITA BIBAFull-Text 157-164
      Donald M. Leslie
    A primary factor behind the enormous interest in XML is the support it provides for transforming documents to meet the needs of information-processing applications as well as human readers working with HTML, print, and other presentation media. This case study reviews the issues we confronted, the tools we implemented, and the procedures we adopted to transform a documentation set from one XML document type to another, and from XML to HTML and Adobe PDF.The documentation set for Xalan, the Apache XSL transformer based largely on code donated by Lotus/IBM, is written in XML, using document types shared by the projects on the Apache XML website. To present Xalan reference releases to IBM project groups, the Cambridge Advanced Technology Group has set up build procedures to transform the Xalan XML documentation to DITA, an extensible XML information typing architecture currently under development in IBM. After verifying that the DITA output conforms to its declared document type, the build publishes the DITA documentation set as HTML and as PDF.
    IDDS: an interactive decentralized documentation system BIBAFull-Text 165-171
      Christoph Meinel; Harald Sack; Volker Schillings
    The paper describes the design and the application of an Interactive Decentralized Documentation System (IDDS). IDDS is a web-based, interactive documen-tation system that is especially designed for the support of working groups distributed over many places. It enables the creation of "just-in-time"-documentation and provides authoring tools for multimedia documents supporting multiple authors per document including a versioning system. IDDS provides an HTML-frontend for being accessible anywhere with a standard web-browser for creating, reading, or commenting on the provided documentation. The workflow of IDDS includes an interactive and guided reviewing process of the documentation including security mechanisms that are designed to maintain a high quality of the created documentation. Furthermore, first experiences of the application of IDDS in a system and network-administration environment are given.
    The global impact of eBooks on ePublishing BIBAFull-Text 172-179
      Harold Henke
    The advent of eBooks and electronic publishing is changing not only the North American publishing industry but Europe as well. In Europe, many publishers are embracing the ePublishing industry as well as companies which have emerged to develop tools and web sites to develop and sell eBooks, not only in the European Union but in North America.
       In Asia, the electronic book industry is fueled by two industries: manufacturers who are developing hardware devices to read eBooks and content providers who are publishing specific formats.
       In developing nations, the potential of eBooks is equivalent to the impact of wireless phone technology on communications.
       This paper is organized into these sections which support the premise that eBooks will impact publishing, world-wide: 1) Overview; 2) Technology; 3) Publishing Models; 4) Books On Demand; and 5) World Libraries. Throughout this paper, the term eBooks is used to represent eBooks.
       Portions of this presentation were excerpted from electronic Books and ePublishing, Springer-Verlag London, 2001, ISBN 1-85233-435-5. Information about the book can be obtained at www.chartula.com http://www.chartula.com, which is maintained by this author of this paper.
    Book metaphor: friend or foe? BIBAFull-Text 180-184
      John Russell
    This paper illustrates an online information system that combines the direct access to information of true hypertext, with the traditional navigation methods of a book-oriented documentation library. It demonstrates navigational methods that combine the book metaphor with other kinds of navigation. It explores when to emphasize the book metaphor and when to hide it.
    A framework to provide integrated online documentation BIBAFull-Text 185-192
      Sogo Tsuji; Yoshikazu Yamamoto
    As the variety of software users is increasing widely, online help systems are required to provide appropriate information for users. It means the help documents are suited to users' knowledge and the context in users' accesses. This paper addresses how online help systems can meet these requirements, and proposes a design framework called SOF Scenario-based Online help Framework).In SOF, we introduce our proposed scenario-based design of help documents. The scenario is a meta-model of the help document and contains information about the structure and behavior of the document. Therefore, the scenario-based design of help documents can achieve context-sensitive interaction between the system and a user depending on his/her knowledge level.
       This paper also demonstrates that SOF can be used to meet these demands placed upon online help systems, and includes a prototype system named Fit (Flexible Information Tailor). SOF makes it easy to develop adaptive online help systems.
    Web design issues when searching for information in a small screen display BIBAFull-Text 193-200
      Loel Kim; Michael J. Albers
    In this paper, we report preliminary findings from an experimental study in which twenty-eight users answered questions by performing strategic information searches on web pages. Pages, which varied in length from 100 to 850 words, were displayed on either a standard, desktop monitor (full-sized) or a palm handheld interface (small-screen). Overall, users took more time to perform the tasks on the small screen interface, with the break in efficacy appearing between 225 and 350 word-lengths. Finally, contrary to our hypothesis, participants were similarly accurate across conditions.
    Finding scientific papers with homepagesearch and MOPS BIBAFull-Text 201-207
      Gerd Hoff; Martin Mundhenk
    The fast dissemination of new research results on the world-wide web poses new challenges for search engines. In this paper we describe a new approach to seek scientific papers relevant to a pre-defined research area. Different from other approaches, we do not search for web pages which contain certain keywords, but we search for web pages which are created by scientists who are active in the research area under consideration. The names of these scientists are obtained from the DBLP server [9]. The HomePageSearch system finds the Home Pages according to the names, and Mops finds research papers close to the Home Pages. It creates an index of these papers and makes it accessible on the web. We conclude that such a focused crawling is very effective for building high-quality collections and indices of scientific papers, using ordinary desktop hardware.
    Single-source indexing BIBAFull-Text 208-217
      Jan C. Wright
    As more and more content is being produced and distributed in multiple formats, the issue of providing indexes for various formats becomes important. Indexes can be considered as residing within interfaces, rather than just more pages accompanying a printed piece, or a tab stuck in a online help file. Designing indexes that work equally well in any of the various interfaces a document may be displayed in, whether print, help, PDF, or on the Web, presents a real challenge.
       Understanding the structure and relationships available in each destination format allows the indexer to design the index to work well in each instance. Ignoring an output format or assuming that the index is a simple construction leads to poorly designed online indexes, in which one format's requirements have been sacrificed for the output needs of another. In addition, print indexes do not translate well to online without consideration of screen design and user behavior.
       In this paper we discuss the interface indexing design issues for print, online HTML Help, PDF, XML, and plain HTML.


    Creating effective and enjoyable documentation: enhancing the experience of users by aligning information with strategic direction and customer insights BIBAFull-Text 220
      Karl Smart; Dave Norton
    Organizations produce value for customers and gain competitive advantage by creating meaningful experiences for consumers and users of products and services. Documentation and information play a central role in the experience of users, particularly with software applications and the Web. This tutorial gives participants an understanding of how "experience design" is impacting documentation and online interactions. Participants learn why it is important to create positive user experiences -- documentation that is both enjoyable and memorable -- and how to transform user interactions into memorable experiences.
       The tutorial introduces a variety of field research and observation methods (including contextual inquiry, in-depth experience sessions, and user testing). Participants will learn a user-centered design process that shows them how to transform user data into actual design ideas; how to align the ideas with their organization's corporate voice, brand, and personality; and how to prototype, test, and implement these ideas -- all with the intent of better meeting the information needs of users and creating positive user experiences. Guided group work allows participants to apply the concepts learned at each step of the process and provides valuable tools that can be used with any documentation processes. This tutorial will help participants expand their view of what documentation is and how it can be used as a strategic tool within their respective organizations.
    Cross-cultural user-interface design for work, home, play, and on the way BIBAFull-Text 221-222
      Aaron Marcus
    User interface design requires good visual design of metaphors, mental models, navigation, appearance, and interaction to represent data, functions, tasks, roles, organizations, and people. Techniques of simplicity, clarity, and consistency can improve the communication effectiveness of user interfaces for the Web, mobile devices and information appliances, and performance (productivity) tools. In particular, the use of appropriate typography, layout, color, animation, and symbolism can assist developers to achieve more efficient, effective communication to more diverse user communities.
    XML for the rest of us BIBAFull-Text 223
      Jonathan Price
    As the Web drives technical communicators to move from creating documents to managing the flow of content in the form of thousands of interactive objects, the Extensible Markup Language (XML) provides a standard way to describe that content, grab information from databases, enable business-to-business commerce, and personalize the information provided customers at online stores. This workshop gives non-programmers an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of XML, then shows you how to create a well-formed XML document with standard mark up tags. After this workshop, you will be able to
  • Identify reasons your organization may need to switch to XML
  • Mark up documents with XML tags
  • Identify current tools for creating and publishing in XML In-class exercises help you try out what you are learning. An extensive handout provides full details of the material we are studying, providing a useful reference when you return to work. You do not need to know HTML, but some familiarity with Web publishing will help you understand the context in which XML becomes important. This course does not give nuts-and-bolts instruction on any particular tool, and we do not go into the creation of Document Type Definitions (DTDs) or extensible stylesheets (XSLT).
  • Page to help or help to page: a comparative case study BIBAFull-Text 224-225
      Darren Barefoot
    In this paper, I describe two processes of single-sourcing a printed manual and a online help system.
    Writing, designing, and processing information in the Darwin information typing architecture (DITA) BIBAFull-Text 226
      Michael Priestley
    The Darwin Information Typing Architecture is an XML architecture for producing and reusing technical information. This tutorial covers the basics of topic-oriented writing, and then proceeds to the specifics of topic structures in DITA, and the DITA information types.
       After covering how to create information in DITA, the tutorial will cover how to use the architecture to create specialized topic types and transforms.
       The tutorial assumes you have some familiarity with topic-oriented writing and information types. Familiarity with XML DTD syntax, and with XSLT, will be helpful but not essential.
       Bring laptops with an XML editor, parser, XSLT interpreter, and the DITA package installed. At minimum, have a simple text editor, plus the DITA package, plus Apache's Xalan and Xerces installed.
       You can get the DITA package from its developerWorks home: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-dita1
    The documentation process: create it, refine it, and get them to use it BIBAFull-Text 227
      Bill Thomas
    This half-day tutorial presents guidelines and examples for how to develop a documentation process for an organization. It also examines the challenges and obstacles that can impede an organization's acceptance of a new process. The tutorial is designed for members of technical communication departments, particularly managers.


    Designing multilingual web sites: applied authoring techniques BIBAFull-Text 230-231
      Terri Morgan; Carol Luttrell; Yuzeng Liu
    International corporations and small organizations recognize that although you can buy in any language, you must use the customer's language to sell. Because of this, the dominance of English in the Internet is lessening. To effectively author for the Internet, the practice of sequential design in one language followed by subsequent adaptation to accommodate another language must change to that of creating an initial design accommodating multiple languages at once. But anytime more than one language is involved in anything many challenges arise. These must be addressed and overcome to achieve accuracy in message delivery. The challenges to doing this in the instant, dynamic, location-independent media that are available on the Internet are as unique as the demand for the capability is great. That's what makes it fun!
       This workshop addresses key issues in Designing and Authoring Multilingual Websites. Writing considerations, dealing with information, the way it is presented, and the content structure are addressed as are the technical issues of file structure, data definition and implementation. Through questions and answers, participants will help "design and build" a multilingual web site. As each of the key definitions is created, the participants will be presented with issues related to those definitions. In this way, we will work through the entire process, giving the participants a chance to learn more about the questions they may need to ask in order to create their own effective, maintainable, sustainable multilingual web sites.
    Developing single source content: in search of the XML pot-of-gold BIBAFull-Text 232
      James T. Stewart
    In this workshop we present an approach for applying the Information Mapping method for designing Single Source Content to be stored as XML formatted files. The method helps writers plan, design and develop effective single source content. Information Mapping's XML tool, Formatting Solutions XML, will be demonstrated as a means of simplifying the XML creation process.
    Taking an object-oriented approach to restructuring legacy documents for the web BIBAFull-Text 233
      Jonathan Price
    We've entered the age of information recycling, but many of us have inherited whole libraries of legacy documents that are so poorly chunked and so incoherently written that we cannot easily move them into a Web site.
       In this intensive one-day workshop, you will learn how to adopt an object-oriented approach to editing current documentation to make it more effective on the Web. You will see how to rethink the purpose of each sentence, paragraph, and section, in reference material, process descriptions, and procedures, to prepare for extensive re-use in a variety of contexts, formats, and media. Done badly, the transformation of legacy materials ends in customer rebellion. Done well, it improves the quality, efficiency, and impact of your documentation.
       Working with hands-on exercises, discussion, and extensive readings, you will learn to reorganize, revise, and, if necessary, completely rewrite legacy materials, revising them for object-oriented disassembly and multiple re-use, modularizing them for random access, and developing guidelines for consistency across the site.
       The guidelines in this workshop come from usability research and practitioner lore, as well as my own experience consulting on large conversion projects. An extensive bibliography helps you look up relevant articles and books. This workshop does not promote or teach any particular software; the focus is on writing and editing skills you can apply in any situation. With this consistent, object-oriented approach to structure, you can convert the resulting documents into XML or SGML more easily than you could have transformed the tangled originals.
       Participants get a high-level overview of XML, because it is a formal way of describing rhetorical objects. Every structural analysis includes sample Document Type Descriptions (DTDs). But this workshop is not a hands-on course in XML. We look at XML because it provides a context in which we may soon be working, and its tags offer us a way of describing rhetorical objects in terms that external software and other organizations can recognize, allowing for additional re-use and manipulation of the material.
    Developing content for international knowledge management webs BIBAFull-Text 234
      Rives Hassell-Corbiell
    A large enterprise that competes internationally must have an e-business strategy in order to grow. An e-business strategy should include the following components: e-commerce, care of customers, workforce maximization, supply chain management, e-learning, and e-publishing, all of which depend on a web-based platform. These components provide an information flow that cements relationships with all of the company's constituents (which include customers, partners, employees, and vendors) to create a competitive advantage. The e-publishing component includes knowledge management content (documents, processes, and resources).
    Documentation for software engineers: what is needed to aid system understanding? BIBAFull-Text 235-236
      Bill Thomas; Scott Tilley
    Software engineers rely on program documentation as an aid in understanding the functional nature, high-level design, and implementation details of complex applications. However, no one really knows what types of documentation are truly useful to software engineers to aid system understanding. This workshop focuses on issues related to this fundamental problem, such as what formats the documentation should take, who should produce it, and when. The juxtaposition of a technical communication audience with software engineering researchers and practitioners will provide new insights into the problem.
    Documenting software systems with views II: an integrated approach based on XML BIBAFull-Text 237-246
      Jochen Hartmann; Shihong Huang; Scott Tilley
    Software engineers rely on program documentation as an aid in understanding the functional nature, high-level design, and implementation details of complex applications. Without such documentation, engineers are forced to rely solely on source code. This is a time-consuming and error-prone process, especially when one considers the amount of information assimilation and domain mapping that is required to understand the architecture of a large-scale software system. This paper describes an integrated approach to documenting software systems based on XML. In particular, the paper focuses on the creation and use of specific Document Type Definitions (DTD) that are defined by MSR as a standard for software documentation. MSR is a consortium of several German automotive companies whose goal is to support cooperative development between car manufacturers and their electronic system suppliers. To illustrate the approach, selected aspects of the document creation process for an engine control system are presented.


    The changing face of technical communication: new directions for the field in a new millennium BIBAFull-Text 248-260
      Mark Zachry; Kelli Cargile Cook; Brenton D. Faber; David Clark
    In this panel session, the authors identify four different factors shaping the future of technical communication: user-centered design, corporate universities, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and knowledge management. The authors each address how factors once considered external to the field of technical communication are now becoming thoroughly integrated with it. These four studies, in conjunction, suggest how the field of technical communication is becoming increasingly complex and how participants (practitioners, researchers, and educators) will need to adapt to this new terrain.