TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Giving up on XML From:eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com To:siliconwriter -at- comcast -dot- net Date:Thu, 15 Mar 2007 10:32:29 -0500
> What do you think I was doing for four freakin' weeks? I read every
> book I could find, every "tutorial" I could download from the Web. I
> emailed knowledgeable friends. I can't get the most basic, ordinary,
> everyday information about creating usable documents from XML files.
> I do, however, seem to run into an inordinate number of people who
> think I'm a loon because I can't pick all this up by osmosis.
I certainly don't think you can learn from osmosis.
But, to paraphrase Douglas Adams: I think the problem isn?t with the
answer, the problem is not knowing what the question is.
Right know the question seems to be ?How do you start racing cars?? and
the answer being given involves decades of engineering study and
doctorates in everything from aerodynamics, to tire manufacturing, and the
technologies surrounding internal combustion engines followed by decades
more apprenticing as a mechanic and then as a driver.
More specifically, we should be asking: ?Can I race competitively with a
Dodge Neon?? The answer by the way, is yes. At least it was when there was
a race series limited to Dodge Neons.
More specifically still, do you want to be driving or maintaining the car,
or perhaps managing the team? Same technologies and ostensively the same
questions, but fundamentally different answers.
If you start at w3cschools, you?ve embarked on designing internal
combustion engines and aerodynamics or going into vehicle manufacturing.
If you start with a Docbook primer, you?re reading the Haynes manual for
gasoline engine maintenance. |If you start with Docbook for FrameMaker,
you might be as complex as maintaining your own car or racing in stock car
racing to as simple as learning how to drive it on empty side streets.
What tools/files do you have, what are you trying to do?
Use an existing DTD/Schema, modify one, or create a from the ground up?
Want to use Docbook? Forget about learning XML. Learn DocBook and an
implementation of Docbook in a tool chain. How does your information
structure match or deviate compared to DocBook? There?s nothing more to
learning DocBook than learning HTML. It?s just tags and hierarchy. Then,
just as you have to determine what tags you use in what circumstances for
HTML you do the same with Docbook.
You need to start with a profound analysis of your needs and data. Only
then can you really start picking apart at the granular level to search
This e-mail communication (and any attachment/s) may contain confidential
or privileged information and is intended only for the individual(s) or
entity named above and to others who have been specifically authorized to
receive it. If you are not the intended recipient, please do not read,
copy, use or disclose the contents of this communication to others. Please
notify the sender that you have received this e-mail in error by reply
e-mail, and delete the e-mail subsequently. Please note that in order to
protect the security of our information systems an AntiSPAM solution is in
use and will browse through incoming emails.
Ce message (ainsi que le(s) fichier/s), transmis par courriel, peut
contenir des renseignements confidentiels ou protégés et est destiné à
l?usage exclusif du destinataire ci-dessus. Toute autre personne est par
les présentes avisée qu?il est strictement interdit de le diffuser, le
distribuer ou le reproduire. Si vous l?avez reçu par inadvertance,
veuillez nous en aviser et détruire ce message. Veuillez prendre note
qu'une solution antipollupostage (AntiSPAM) est utilisée afin d'assurer la
sécurité de nos systems d'information et qu'elle furètera les courriels
Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include single source authoring, team authoring,
Web-based technology, and PDF output. http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList
Now shipping: Help & Manual 4 with RoboHelp(r) import! New editor,
full Unicode support. Create help files, web-based help and PDF in up
to 106 languages with Help & Manual: http://www.helpandmanual.com
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-