CSS smart selectors: making CSS work for you!
The more specific your CSS rules become, the more class attributes you need in your HTML to tell the rules which elements to modify. This brute force method is common practice, but quite inefficient. CSS selectors are all about pattern-matching, an ability that is often misunderstood and certainly underused. This session shows you how to write cleverly-coded “smart” selectors that let the rules identify target elements on their own without HTML classes, greatly reducing your HTML maintenance requirements. It’s almost magic!
You will learn:
- How dependent, independent, and descendant selectors work
- How to use CSS combinators to add selector specificity
- How to use pseudo-classes and pseudo-elements as filters
- How to use attribute selectors to identify HTML elements
Opening the Innovation Door – rethinking DITA
When documentation is migrated from legacy to DITA. work practices are also changed from the conventional processes of authoring, editing, translating, and publishing. However, many benefits of moving to DITA are not being realised because we are upgrading legacy processes, rather than rethinking them completely.
With less than 10 minutes of effort, a report can be generated, for example, listing all of a document’s links to external Web sites. This allows the extract to be checked for dead links, rather than the searching through the entire document.
Extrapolate this to other elements in the document, and the opportunity to completely change the editing and QA process becomes apparent.
DITA content can be sorted, filtered, re-sequenced, and otherwise processed in ways not possible previously. DITA content can be dynamically rendered and delivered to suit an individual reader’s preferences. In this presentation, Dr Tony Self demonstrates a range of ideas that show how DITA can open the door to innovation at all stages in the documentation processes.
You will learn:
- How conventional processes can be approached differently in a DITA workflow
- How processes can be re-thought, rather than migrated
- The types of automation that can be achieved
- What skills and resources are needed for “document engineering”
How to be an efficient writer
Do you struggle with the amount of time it takes to write? When writing about science it is easy to drift onto related topics in the researching, planning and writing stages. Dr Marina Hurley will show you to stay on track and be more efficient at each stage of writing: researching your topic, planning your document structure, and staying focused when writing and rewriting your early drafts. You will learn how to get your thoughts down quickly, avoid distractions and monitor your writing productivity. There will be short exercises where you will get the opportunity to work own your own project or document during the workshop using worksheets provided at the beginning of the presentation.
Web page speed basics
Desktops are dinosaurs. Most users now access the web on low-power mobile devices with sluggish, unreliable connections – and slow-loading pages just make things worse. Slow pages are frustrating for users, who can’t access the content, and bad for online publishers, who lose readers. Faster loading pages are imperative for good communication. Fortunately,
there are plenty of easy ways to improve page speed that are easily accessible to ‘ordinary’ web content authors like you and me. Regardless of the page type or intent, faster pages are better pages!
You will learn:
- How to measure and evaluate your page load speed
- How to know which parts of your page can be improved
- How to compress text content and optimize graphics
- How to avoid unnecessary server requests
That’ll never happen: impossible documentation
The products of technical communication – manuals, Help systems, user guides – are created using authoring tools that are decades old. And although many of those products are delivered on mobile devices, many are delivered using centuries-old paper technologies, or as PDFs. The applications and services that they document can be cutting-edge and innovative, but documentation is rarely so. In this session, we take a fresh look at how documentation could take new and clever forms, and the roles that connectivity, metadata, and interchange play in making that a reality.
You will learn:
- How “legacy” tools are based on last-century approaches
- Ways in which innovation has transformed approaches in related fields
- How connectivity has impacted document delivery
- Ways in which metadata can be the basis for innovation
- The role standards play in data and document interchange
Introduction to Blockchain
Blockchain is not so much new software as a whole new technology that will very likely revolutionise entire industries. Technical writers will need to document the systems built on blockchain.
To gain an insight into this technology, Grant Noble will answer these questions and more:
What is blockchain?
How does blockchain work?
What industries will be affected by blockchain?
He will give us a short description of the underlying cryptography of blockchain and hopes to help us understand what blockchain means to us as Technical Communicators
Simplified Technical English
English is not always the native language for readers of complex technical documentation. However, English is the language most used throughout the defence industry for writing technical documentation. Simplified Technical English was developed to assist the readers of English-language technical documentation in understanding what they read. This presentation will give an overview of Simplified English and provide information on why it enables technical writers to write technical documentation in a clear simple and unambiguous manner.