by kvantomme / 24 November, 2016

Last week, I presented an evolved version of my "AI the docs!” talk. This time with the subtitle “Conversational UI, Embedded Help and Artificial Help. A fertile ground for minimalism and DITA" at CIDM's European DITA conference in Munich, 2016 November 14-15.

Video recording:

I started my talk from the same base concepts as my talk at Write the Docs Prague, but the structure was much better and there were several new insights that I think can be valuable if you are considering the space.

In my talk I focussed on:

why teaching through conversation is back and why I believe this is the future of documentation, even if manuals will remain relevant and never completely go away.

3 trends that drive the need for AI in the documentation space... Read more
by kvantomme / 21 April, 2016

The video recordings of the lectures held on the Documenting APIs mini-conference are now available on our dedicated event page.

On March 4, 2016 we helped organise a special whole-day meetup in London on the Write The Docs conference, in which the community discussed the tools and processes used to document APIs.

We recorded the sessions, mashed them up with tweets and summaries and published them.

On the page you will find the following content:

James Stewart, Director of Technical Architecture at GDS: Intro and welcome to GDS Rosalie Marshall, Tech Author at GDS: Understanding the needs of API documentation users Ellis Pratt, Technical Communicator and director at Cherryleaf: Aye, Aye, API - What makes Technical Communicators uneasy about API... Read more
by kvantomme / 26 March, 2015

Drupal has all the elements to build a custom content model that can mirror a DITA specialisation. The really exciting thing is that this data model can be built from the UI, without a single line of code. While there are considerable drawbacks to the usability of the resulting interface, the fact that this is a free and open source implementation means that those who have more time than money could use this implementation as a starting point to build a DITA CCMS that accommodates an arbitrary specialisation.

I am really excited about this because for the first time it is now feasible to build a completely free and open source CCMS for DITA, or for any other XML language for that matter. Such a starting point would enable a community of DIY technical writers to bootstrap a full... Read more

by kvantomme / 19 October, 2011

On 7 & 8 November I'll be attending DITA Europe in Prague. At the conference I'll be giving a talk on Strategies to Implement an Enterprise Social Platform with DITA Content. On the evening of the 8th I'll be doing a try-out of the talk I submitted for Drupalcon Denver: What we can learn from single sourcing in a multi-device world at a local Drupal User Group. And last but not least we are organizing a Drupal-DITA code sprint as part of the first openDITA code sprint on the 9th of November. If you are interested in documentation in Drupal, want to work with the enterprise standard for technical documentation, want to do stuff with Drupal and DITA or live not far from Prague and want to be part of a cool codesprint, you should definitely fill in the registration form and come over... Read more

by kvantomme / 25 May, 2011

Pronovix has been working on a functionality set for Drupal that makes it easier to build single sourced documentation platforms. Our work has sufficiently advanced to serve as the basis for bespoke built sites and we are actively looking for product owners or technical writers that would like to build a documentation collaboration site for their communities. We've created a platform where we can generate demo sites that demonstrate the work we've done so far. To get access to your own demo site, fill in this questionnaire. We'll use your answers to do some basic configurations to make the demo site better fit your requirements and we'll contact you for a walk through. This survey should take about 10-15 minutes, after your submission we'll contact you with your login details for the... Read more

by kvantomme / 14 April, 2011

Last week I attended Content Management Strategies/DITA N-America, afaik the leading conference in the DITA community. The conference with 300 participants reminded me a lot of my first Drupalcon in Brussels, there are some obvious differences (e.g. most attendees are not programmers but technical writers, the food was as good as the food we got on the Drupal Gov Days) but if you look closer you'll see that the DITA community has a sharing culture much like our own. On Tuesday I attended an informal meetup where we could ask questions to the members of the DITA Oasis committee in which it was brought up that we need to get more people involved in the development of the DITA Open Toolkit. I suggested to organize a code sprint and it seems that already now some of the practices in our... Read more

by kvantomme / 9 February, 2011

This is a presentation that I gave at the Drupal Developer Days, on 6 February 2011. It's meant as an introduction to single sourcing. It contains the results of the documentation questionnaire we ran. What would the ideal documentation system for a community driven project like Drupal look like? From the outside Drupal is perceived as a well documented project, and several people choose to work with Drupal because of this. On the inside however, a lot of people complain about the documentation. What's the reason and the meaning of these differences in perception? In this session I want to present the results of a survey that I'll do in preparation for Drupal Dev Days to investigate the general level of satisfaction with the Drupal documentation system and the main areas where people... Read more

by kvantomme / 1 February, 2011

Help us improve the documentation tools in Drupal and get to own a Mr. Fivestar T-shirt

This weekend at the Drupal Developer Days in Brussels, I'm giving a presentation about documentation systems for/in Drupal. The main focus of the presentation will be different new technologies that we've been working on to improve Drupal's documentation technology stack. We believe that these could revolutionize the way we do documentation for Drupal projects and at the same time open up a new market for our favorite CMS.

To test the relevancy of my recommendations for the community, I've put together a questionnaire of which the results should help us better understand your needs and priorities. To make it even more worth your while, we are giving away Mr T-shirts to people that... Read more

by kvantomme / 28 November, 2010

This is a crosspost of the wiki I create at In February LeeHunter posted his wish list of features for "an awesome technical communication CMS". I've copied his list and processed the comments in the discussion and some of my own, and added our current status implementing these features and ideas of how any missing features could be implemented in the near future. I'm very much aware that in the coming months most documentation efforts will probably go into getting the documentation updated for Drupal 7, and it's strategically a bad idea to at the same time change from a freeform format to a structured documentation format, rebuild the infrastructure and do a mayor content update. Nothing prevents us however from dreaming up the ideal infrastructure... Read more

by denes / 23 November, 2010

We've published the first version of our DITA Integration module which allows to handle DITA documentations with Drupal. It's still being developed and we would not suggest to use on a live site, but as a proof of concept, it's ready for testing! For now, we have the following features:

You can upload dita tasks/concepts/documents. You can use graphmind to build a DITA map from your uploaded topics. You can convert your dita documentations into xhtml or pdf2, or you can download them in tar.gz You can schedule your conversions, and have them run on cron, or run them immediately with a simple command in command line. Create relation tables in the map with Drupal's taxonomy With the Simple Dita Forms submodule, you can build simple tasks and concepts with a form. With the DITA feeds... Read more