Information Management News
Volume 8, Issue 9
September 2008

A monthly e-newsletter from The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)
JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD, CIDM Director

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CIDM News and Events


The Best Practices Conference 2008 will be held September 15-17 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For more information, please click here.

The DITA Europe Conference 2008 will be held November 17-18 in Munich, Germany. CIDM is currently calling for speakers and exhibitors for this event.

News & Events

Dynamic single-source publishing: Implementing DITA with Microsoft

Speaker: JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services

Learn how DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture), the XML standard for single-source publishing, combines with Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Office applications to make dynamic single-source publishing a truly “People-Ready” process that reduces time-to-market and cuts costs.

To register for this seminar click here.

XyEnterprise announces ContentaView V3.6 with a powerful new web-based update server

XyEnterprise, a leading developer of award-winning XML content management and multi-channel delivery solutions, today announced the release of ContentaView 3.6, an update to their software solution suite for the intelligent delivery of interactive, textual and multimedia content via CD-ROM or the Web. This new version now features a powerful web-based update server, providing a universal means for updating all digital publications with a simple internet connection.

To read the press release click here.

How do users retrieve and use technical information, and what delivery media best support those approaches?

BMC cordially invites you to participate in a discussion about how today’s users retrieve and use the technical content that supports our products and solutions. The objective of this session is to draw some useful conclusions about the best delivery media and publication mechanism we can develop to support the changing needs of today’s users.

To read more about this event click here.

Author-it 5.1 is now released!

Author-it is pleased to announce their latest product, Author-it 5.1, is now available and includes a number of exciting new features including object variants and quick search functionality!

To read the press release click here.

The Arbortext Edition of Introduction to DITA: A User Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture has arrived! Buy your copy today!

Why are technology standards so important to technical communication?
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

Technical communicators have always shown allegiance to standards. The Chicago Manual of Style represents the starting point for most department style guides. The Microsoft style guide demonstrates how to write about products that are based on the company’s operating system. Government style guides govern a variety of government-oriented publications. In the early days of my technical communication career, we considered the U. S. Geological Survey’s style guide to be the industry bible. The Modern Language Association (MLA) style guide governed the writing we did in graduate school.

Read the article.

More articles


Rare Bird Award 2008
Anne Bovard, Comtech Services, Inc.

We’ve received a record number of submissions for this year’s Rare Bird Award. Our community members are pushing the envelope—striving to do things better, faster, and more efficiently.

Read the article.

What does it mean to adopt DITA?
David Hollis, A and O Consultancy, Ltd.

This question was recently posed by JoAnn Hackos to the DITA Adoption TC. Rather an obvious question, perhaps? But a very important one, none the less. I was musing over this question, and came to the conclusion that it’s a lot like taking a holiday in Wyoming!

Read the article.

Getting the source right
John Kohl, SAS Institute

I’ve been collecting and analyzing examples of different types of ambiguity and of readability problems for a long time, starting when I was doing graduate school research in the early 1990s. As a technical writer and editor at SAS for the past 16 years, I’ve had access to a very large corpus of software documentation from which I have drawn most of my examples.

Read the article.