Pawel Kowaluk, a technical writer, self-proclaimed DITA geek, and recruiter, joins us from Krakow, Poland. He talks about the rise of technical communication in Poland, starting a conference, and how to balance a team when hiring.
Note: After recording, we became aware that Pawel left the Soap! Conference team after one year. To further clarify, Pawel did not have a role in the formation of MeetContent, though he is an active member of the community. Content Content regrets any confusion or offense to those involved.
In this episode, a truly great and fun conversation with prolific and influential technical writer Tom Johnson. Tom joins us from Silicon Valley to talk about his interesting path to technical communication, failed Career Day booths, being a leader in techcomm, content management systems, DITA, static site generators, and much more.
I often get frustrated when people ask in technical communication forums and email lists what are the “current trends in help”. Why limit help to such a small, self-enclosed space, when we have an incredible wealth of knowledge that is current and also contains what users want: the Web.
There’s really no reason that help has to look like traditional “help”, and not like a web site, especially since framesets, the “technology” that creates the tri-pane TOC/content/navigation most help authors are familiar with, went out of style in, oh, 1999. MadCap is finally taking the lead here with frameset-less output, though I suspect Adobe’s RoboHelp isn’t far behind.
This story is for intermediate to advanced help developers. It requires knowledge of HTML, CSS, and a help authoring tool such as MadCap Flare or Adobe Robohelp.
Have you ever been bored using Georgia, Tahoma, Verdana, and (sigh…) Arial over and over in your help projects? The font-face property has been available for some time in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), but browser and font foundry support are only now allowing use of fonts other than those that ship with operating systems and applications, without workarounds like sIFR and cufon.