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by Nabil Freij
If you’ve been following the Technical Communications industry, you may have noticed the obvious migration that is happening towards XML (Extensible Markup Language) processes, tools and formats.
Based on a recent survey implemented by scriptorium (scriptorium.com), only 16.2% of 328 respondents indicated that they do not plan to implemented structured authoring.
Most authoring systems are now supporting, saving or exporting to XML.
Here is a list of some key examples:
1. Microsoft Office tools, like Word docx, Excel xlsx,
PowerPoint pptx are all now in compressed XML formats
2. FrameMaker supports structured XML
3. InDesign INX interchange format is XML based
4. GUI ResX is XML based
5. Flare, RoboHelp, XMetaL, Arborext, oXygen and many
others are HTM and XML based
6. Wiki based publishing is XML based
If you are thinking about transitioning to a new authoring system, consider moving to an XML-based system, structured or unstructured.
XML will enable you to apply structured authoring with DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) when needed in the future allowing single sourcing of your content.
Your transition to XML based authoring will also facilitate the process of preparing the files for localization since most translation management systems (TMS) now support XML.
By transitioning to XML, your translation memories will contain XML internal tags instead of the non-standard tags that are currently used with common non-XML based systems. By having XML tags in the Translation Memory, you will create long term efficiencies and reduce fuzzy matches as all your content, like marketing, engineering, training, educational or other, transitions to or standardizes on XML.
For more information about XML authoring strategies, please contact us at [email protected] or reply to this email.