I was introduced to the techcomm world in 1991, working as a tech writer for Autodesk (using FrameMaker 3.0 on UNIX). Before that I was an architect (yes, buildings, not data models). At Autodesk I was involved in writing User Guides, References and API documentation for AutoCAD.
I’ve been involved with online Help development starting with a proprietary ASCII format for AutoCAD (HLP files, before WinHelp existed). When we started delivering WinHelp, I created a conversion utility which generated RTF (“Help-encoded”) files from MIF files; we used that to create WinHelp readme files from FrameMaker files. I was involved in developing a custom conversion from FrameMaker to HTML Help using WebWorks (back before their proprietary XSL processing). This created AutoCAD’s “famous” 3-tab Help (Concept, Procedure, Reference – sounds a lot like DITA, no?).
I left Autodesk in 2004 to start Leximation, Inc. We focus on FrameMaker plugin and structure application development, and custom website and online Help development. I have been working with DITA since 2001 and created the DITA-FMx plugin for FrameMaker. I also do a lot of work with EPUB development, and see this format as being important in the techcomm space in the future (it’s not quite ready yet, but getting there!).
As a member of the North Bay Communicators Network, I’m happy to help local “communicators” with any of the technologies or tools that I’m familiar with. Feel free to contact me through the Leximation website or one of the social media links below.
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