"Avoid it", the style guides write, "unless you really know what you are doing". The implication is you don't. With examples like "a book is bought by me", they show the passive voice's clumsy wordiness. It requires "more cognitive effort", points out one guide, though so to be honest does the very next sentence, "this … Continue reading You’ve been had. The passive voice was never bad.
Microsoft Word now puts its wiggly line under two spaces in a row. A lot of people are happy, and I'm happy that they're happy, because maybe "semantic authoring" in a small sense is taking root. Microsoft Word wags its finger at two-spacers. Image from: https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/24/21234170/microsoft-word-two-spaces-period-error-correction-great-space-debate The period-space signifies the end of an idea and … Continue reading Minor Semantics
Modern ways of using metadata connect groups, countries, and organizations. Structured content such as DITA XML provides powerful ways to work with this metadata, but also challenges.
John Carroll's sound instructional principles became known as Minimalism — a term that would frequently be mistaken for the idea of just writing less.
When I need to get a particular piece of writing or other work done, and I'm putting it off because it's difficult (or I'm making it difficult), I've found that this simple process helps a lot.
"For truly futureproof content, we need to write well, use structural markers, and associate our chunks of information with external data."
Recording of a joint webinar with PoolParty's Andreas Blumauer.
Using line-based diff and merge tools can result in invalid files or missing content. XML-aware merge tools avoid these problems.
The grammar police may criticise our doubleplusungood writing, but our loyalty should be with more plausible authorities — our global audience.
WYSIWYG wasn't just a comfort blanket. It helped writers do their jobs. For structured/web authoring, we can't go back, but must fill the gaps.
As tools designers, implementers, or authoring team managers, we have to do a better job of assuring authors when they're doing their jobs OK, and provide clear information on how to fix things if not.