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eMag Feb 2009 Issue - Tech Writer Edition


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Each month on or after the 1st, and only once a month, we will send you content from up to 5 community groups. If you select this Tech Writer group, you'll receive the following content below mixed in with the other groups you elect to include.

Prestwood eMag
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  February 2009 - Tech Writer Edition Year 11 Issue 2  
I.T. Discussion Community!

Expert guidance from working professionals!
Wes Peterson
Coding Services topic:
I.T. Strategies for Hard Times
by Wes Peterson

Difficult economic periods call for hard decisions. It's easy to be tempted to cut back on your IT expenditures but that can be a major mistake.

I.T. is the goose that's been laying the golden egg for businesses -for decades, now.   You don't want to starve the goose; you want to tune it up. It's crystal-clear that computing has enabled businesses to reduce costs, and increase productivity.

Custom-written software is one of the major ways that businesses gain advantages in savings, profits and productivity.  The reason is pretty simple: No two businesses, even in the same industry, do things the same way.  Mass-produced software, even for a specific industry, seldom addresses every requirement of a given business.

Working Remotely with PS topic (classic post):
Upload a File to Prestwood / Download Files
by Mike Prestwood

For file management (to and from you), we do not normally use FTP. Instead we use our My Uploads feature to both upload a file to Prestwood and to view existing account files.

To get to your uploads, from the main pull-down menu click My | More... | My Uploads. Use the Upload a File option to send us a file. Use the File Manager options to view existing files you and others have uploaded to your account and files attached to notes. You can add a note to your account, tickets, and PSDP items (tasks, defects, requirement items, etc). All note attachments also show up in your My Uploads area.

Technical Writing topic (classic post):
Guidelines for Good Sample Code
by Peter Gruenbaum

Sample code often provides the quickest, clearest way to learn how an SDK works. If you have software engineering experience, then you should already know many principles for writing good code. However, what you may not realize is that some of the good practices that you learned for writing good production code do not apply to writing good sample code. Some techniques, such as comments and clear variable names, apply to both production code and sample code. However, there are good reasons to use hard-coded values in sample code, which should be avoided in production code, and there are good reasons to avoid object-oriented designs when writing sample code.

PrestwoodBoards topic (classic post):
New Version of Cross Reference Encyclopdedia

I deployed yet another new version of my Cross Reference Computer Language Encyclopedia. This new version of the software that drives the cross reference data includes fixing defects and some minor enhancements.

Check it out...

The Cross Reference Encyclopedia is also available from the pulldown menu (Programmer Community | Cross Reference Encyclopedia). Enhancements and fixes included:

  • CrossRef stats replaced the ambiguous "Version 1.1a" on the main CrossRef page:
  • Numerous browsing defects fixed. Previously, clicking around led to some unexpected data showing and in some cases no data.
  • Removed "View All" option and replaced it with a shorter "Overview" page. The "View All" page was getting too long to be of much use so I transitioned to a browse feature. You can still print out each category so "grabbing" a printable version is still possible.

Role-Based Tech Talk topic:
Crash, Bomb, Hang, and Deadlock
by Scott Wehrly
This article explores and defines the following terms: crash, bomb, hang, deadlock, exception, fatal error, and blue screen of death.

 Tech Writer Group Top 
Visit Group | My Group Settings
Publishing topic (classic post):
Prestwood Online Style Guide
by Mike Prestwood
Use up to four levels within articles (Heading 1..4). Within text, bold language elements and menu options. Use italics to bring attention to non-code things such as companies, important words, etc. Use bold+Italic for embedded topics and follow with a colon. Use the paragraph style for text and preformatted for code. Max width for images is 700 pixels.

General, Getting Started, etc. topic (classic post):
Global Dashboard - Metrics for documentation processes
by Ramesh R
This article presents an overview of the global dashboard and the related metrics for all regions, specifically for documentation teams. This helps the user to understand and gain more knowledge on the metrics, measures and quality standards used for content management, portal management, elearning systems teams.

 Monthly Tech Writer Lesson
Technical Writing Topic:
As developers, we can often help our clients (or our marketing efforts) by creating "screen cast" demos or tutorials. Here is a great tool for doing that - and it's free.
Grammar Topic:
Tip of the Month

"him" is for "whom" and "he" is for "who"

Who is coding that requirement? (He is coding it.)

To whom do we ask about this requirement? (We ask him.)

Editor's Final Word

For eMag footer

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.

Henry Ford

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