ASTC Conference 2021

Day 2 – Wednesday 13 October

1.00 to 4.45 pm AEDT 

Handouts for Day 2 of the ASTC Conference. Videos of the presentations will be added to this page as soon as they are available. 

We'd also love your opinion on today's presentations. Simply fill in the Day 2 Feedback form after you've watched the presentations.

Connect with your profession.
Learn from your peers.

Wednesday 13 October
1.00 to 2.00 pm


FutureThink: Creating Sustainable Content
David Gash

As writers, most of our effort focuses, and rightfully so, on the user. But in creating content, we also need to consider those who must later maintain that content -- our future selves!

This session presents some simple and effective ways to create content that is not only useful today, but can be updated later without a major hassle. We'll look at several high- and low-level sustainability techniques you can easily apply to your content that future-you will thank present-you for!

You will learn:

* The dos and don'ts of sustainable content
* How to identify problematic maintenance areas
* How to leverage simple code to ease later maintenance
* How to apply existing technologies to your advantage.

About David

Dave Gash is a veteran software professional with more than forty years of development, documentation, and training experience, and recently retired after seven years at Google. Dave is well known in the international technical publications community as an engaging and enthusiastic technical instructor. In the Before Times he was a frequent speaker at user assistance conferences in the US and around the world, and fervently hopes to see you all in Australia in 2022.

Wednesday 13 October
2.00 to 2.30 pm

Chat Session: Canva
Grant Noble

Chat session led by Canva Technical Writer, Grant Noble. Canva is a graphic design platform used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content.

Wednesday 13 October
2.30 to 3.30 pm

A Technical Showcase: Conversion from PDF to HTML
Riordan Byrne

Intrepid Geophysics provides software and services for potential field geophysics, airborne electromagnetics and integrated geology. The company’s documentation, written in Framemaker, had the limitations that:

  • Its 200+ documents weren’t easily searchable, and limited to those users who had Adobe products

  • The PDF documents, included with the software, didn't contribute to the company's online presence. A wasted potential in today's environment.

The new format was Bootstrap 4 HTML. Javascript and Python were used to assist in the migration and usability of a Framemaker-to-HTML published document library. Riordan will explain the tools he used and the pain points that led him to improve his understanding of HTML, Javascript, GIT and the world of “open-source”.

Alongside this major project, Riordan saw how documentation of API and languages could often be convoluted and mazelike. With some small tricks, he will show you how an API can become a pretty clear “picture”.

About Riordan

Riordan is a physics graduate from RMIT working in a Melbourne-based software team at Intrepid Geophysics. His primary role is to extensively test and design workflows for users to process their Magnetic/Gravity/Radiation data originating from our Earth. Riordan’s exposure to Technical Communication started with the need to more effectively communicate to users on how to use the software, while honouring the scientific underpinnings of the work.

Wednesday 13 October
3.45 to 4.45 pm

The Vibe of XSL-T
Dr Tony Self

The “S” in the initialism “XSL-T” is confusing, because it stands for “Stylesheet”. But XSL-T is nothing like CSS, and is not much at all to do with what technical communicators would call stylesheets. In this presentation, Tony explains what XSL-T is, and how it is a powerful tool within the technical communication process.

While technical communicators should not necessarily attempt to learn XSL-T, they should be very familiar with what it is capable of… the “vibe” of it. XSL-T enables “document engineering”, which many argue is the future of Help systems, technical publications, and documentation more broadly.

You will learn:

  • Where XSL-T fits in the XML universe

  • The difference between XSL-T and the two other XSLs

  • What sort of things XSL-T can be used for

  • What level of expertise is needed to work with XSL-T.