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eMag Jul 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.

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  July 2009 - Tech Writer Edition Year 11 Issue 7  
I.T. Discussion Community!


Expert guidance from working professionals!
Peter Gruenbaum
Technical Writing topic:
Survey on SDK Documentation
by Peter Gruenbaum

A survey was sent to software developers and other software professionals to ask what was important in SDK documentation and where they would like to see improvement. The results indicated that the current state of typical SDK documentation is "Fair", which was the middle choice of five ("Excellent" to "Unusable"). The answers to multiple choice questions indicated that overviews, API references, sample code, and tutorials were all considered high importance, whereas blogs and forums were considered less important. When asked to write what they considered important, sample code was mentioned in 61% of the responses and overviews were mentioned in 30% of the responses. Also mentioned as important were help getting started, explanations of why something should be used, accuracy of information, and the ability to find information easily.

IT Water-Cooler for Power-Users topic:
Stamp Out Spam
by Vicki Nelson

How to fight back against spam and reclaim your inbox. As you may know, the volume of spam messages sent across the Internet has reached epidemic levels. Some industry experts estimate that three out of every five e-mail messages that are sent today are spam. The spam epidemic is costing companies, professionals, and individual users considerable amounts of time, money, and resources.

What is spam, and what can I do about it? Spam is generally defined as an unsolicited mailing, usually sent to many recipients. Most spam is commercial advertising, often for dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services. Spam costs the sender very little to send. Most of the costs are paid by the recipient or the carriers rather than the sender. Some effective methods for preventing your e-mail address from being captured, sold or abused by spammers in the full version of this article. Click the title to read more.






 Tech Writer Group Top 
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General, Getting Started, etc. topic (classic post):
Writing as a process
by Ramesh R
Writing applies to any sort of information. However, writing in general is a generic process that involves many components. Writing itself is a big process that includes many things within itself. It is not easy to write and convey information to end user. Writing require experience, grammar skills, domain knowledge, process knowledge, etc. By this, we would be able to understand the importance of writing.

General, Getting Started, etc. topic (classic post):
Knowledge Management
by Ramesh R
An overview of knowledge management in corporate companies with the basics providing information peratining to such knowledge management teams that lead to greater organizational growth and individuals growth also.

 Monthly Tech Writer Lesson
MS Windows Help Files (.HLP) Topic:
Download of the Month: ABC Amber HLP Converter

Converts HLP files to many formats including PDF, RTF, HTML, DOC, CHM, TXT, DBF, XML, CSV, XLS, MDB, MCW, etc.

MS Compiled Windows Help (.CHM) Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: Help and Manual: A great authoring tool

Help and Manual is a mature, and reasonably-priced, authoring tool for WinHelp, Compiled HTML Help (CHM); plus PDF, and Word documentation.

Under the covers, your authoring project is maintained in XML.

It can convert existing help and documentation from a number of formats, and it is very author-friendly.




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