The Gilbane Advisor

Curated content for content, computing, and digital experience professionsals

Category: XSLT (page 1 of 2)

multi-purpose content

Content that is created to be re-used in different contexts. Typically structured using declarative markup such as XML. Originally for publishing in print or digital, then in multiple digital formats and devices for human and machine processing. Also describes the raw material of single-source publishing systems. 

Some current examples.

Syncro Soft Updates Oxygen XML Editor and XML Author

Syncro Soft Ltd announced the immediate availability of version 11.1 of its XML Editor and XML Author. Oxygen combines content author features like the CSS driven Visual XML editor with a fully featured XML development environment. It has ready-to-use support for the main document frameworks DITA, DocBook, TEI and XHTML and also includes support for all XML Schema languages, XSLT/XQuery Debuggers, WSDL analyzer, XML Databases, XML Diff and Merge, Subversion client and more. Version 11.1 of <oXygen/> XML Editor improves the XML authoring capabilities, the support for XML development and also a number of core features. The visual XML authoring now uses schema information to provide intelligent editing actions that help keep the document valid and provide a better editing experience. The new compact representation of tags and the quick up/down navigation features improve the ergonomics and the usability. <oXygen/> can use any XQJ compliant XQuery processor for XQuery transformations, different error levels and external references can be specified for Schematron messages and the XProc support was improved with better editing and execution. The XML format and indent operation can use DTD/schema information to provide better formatting and the find and replace is now XML-aware and can accept XPath filtering to delimit the search scope. Starting with version 11.1 the diff and merge support from oXygen is available also as a separate application, oXygen XML Diff. Oxygen XML Editor and XSLT Debugger is available immediately in three editions: Multi-platform Academic/Personal license costs USD 64.00 (includes the one year support and maintenance pack). Multi-platform Professional license costs USD 349.00; Multi-platform Enterprise license costs USD 449.00. Oxygen XML Author is available immediately in two editions: Multi-platform Professional license costs USD 199.00; Multi-platform Enterprise license costs USD 269.00. http://www.oxygenxml.com

W3C Publishes Drafts of XQuery 1.1, XPath 2.1

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published new Drafts of XQuery 1.1, XPath 2.1 and Supporting Documents. As part of work on XSLT 2.1 and XQuery 1.1, the XQuery and XSL Working Groups have published First Public Working Drafts of “XQuery and XPath Data Model 1.1,” “XPath and XQuery Functions and Operators 1.1,” “XSLT and XQuery Serialization 1.1″ and “XPath 2.1.” In addition, the XQuery Working Group has updated drafts for “XQuery 1.1: An XML Query Language,” “XQueryX 1.1” and “XQuery 1.1 Requirements.”

Upcoming Workshop: Managing Smart Content: How to Deploy XML Technologies across Your Organization

As part of next week’s Gilbane Boston Conference, the XML practice will be delivering a pre-conference workshop, “Managing Smart Content: How to Deploy XML Technologies across Your Organization.” The instructors will be Geoff Bock, Dale Waldt, Bill Trippe, Barry Schaeffer and Neal Hannon–a group of experts that represents decades of technical and management experience on XML initiatives.

A tip of the virtual hat to Senior Analyst Geoff Bock for organizing this.

Smart content holds great promise. First with SGML and now with XML, we are marking up content with both formatting and semantic tags, and adding intelligence to electronic information. Using richly tagged XML documents that exploit predefined taxonomies, we are developing innovative applications for single source publishing, pharmaceutical labeling, and financial reporting. By managing content snippets in a granular yet coherent fashion, these applications are revolutionizing our capabilities to meet business needs and customers’ expectations.

What’s working and why? What are the lessons learned from these innovative applications? Does the rapid growth of web-based collaborative environments, together with the wide array of smart content editors, provide the keys to developing other business solutions? There are many promising approaches to tagging content while doing work. Yet we still face an uphill battle to smarten up our content and develop useful applications.

In this workshop, we the five members of the Gilbane practice on XML technologies will share our experiences and provide you with practical strategies for the future. We will address a range of topics, including:

  • The business drivers for smart content
  • Some innovative content management techniques that make authors and editors more productive
  • The migration paths from ‘conventional’ documents to smart content
  • How to apply industry-specific taxonomies to tag content for meaning
  • The prospects for mash-ups to integrate content from disparate application communities

We will discuss both the rapidly developing technologies available for creating, capturing, organizing, storing, and distributing smart content, as well as the organizational environment required to manage content as business processes. We will identify some of the IT challenges associated with managing information as smart content rather than as structured data, and map strategies to address them. We invite you to join the conversation about how best to exploit the power of XML as the foundation for managing smart content across your organization.

XML Communities on LinkedIn

Just spent an excessive number of hours perusing the XML and related community groups on various Web community sites.  There are several social community tools and sites, but even just LinkedIn ( seems to have dozens of community groups that at least mention XML in their descriptions, and several have it prominent in their names and logos. I joined several. Let’s see what happens. Stay tuned… </>

Winds of Change at Tools of Change

O’Reilly’s Tools of Change conference in New York City this week was highly successful, both inside and outside the walls of the Marriott Marquis. The sessions were energetic, well-attended, and–on the whole–full of excellent insight and ideas about the digital trends taking a firm hold of nearly all sectors of the publishing business. Outside the walls, especially on Twitter, online communities were humming with news and commentary on the the conference. (You almost could have followed the entire conference just by following the #toc hash tag at Twitter and accessing the online copies of the presentations.)

But if you had done that, you would have missed the fun of being there. There were some superb keynotes and some excellent general sessions. Notable among the keynotes were Tim O’Reilly himself, Neelan Choksi from Lexcycle (Stanza), and Cory Doctorow. The general sessions  covered a fairly broad spectrum of topics but were heavy on eBooks and community. Because of my own and my clients’ interests, I spent most of my time in the eBook sessions. The session eBooks I: Business Models and Strategy was content-rich. To begin with, you heard straight from senior people at major publishers with significant eBook efforts (Kenneth Brooks from Cengage Learning, Leslie Hulse from Harper Collins Publishers, and Cynthia Cleto from Springer Science+Business Media). Along with their insight, the speakers–and moderator Michael Smith from IDPF–assembled an incredibly valuable wiki of eBook business and technical material to back up their talk. I also really enjoyed a talk from Gavin Bell of Nature, The Long Tail Needs Community, where he made a number of thoughtful points about how publishers need to think longer and harder about how reading engages and changes people and specifically how a publisher can build community around those changes and activities.

There were a few soft spotsin the schedule. Jeff Jarvis’ keynote, What Would Google do with Publishing?, was more about plumping his new book (What Would Google Do?) than anything else, but was also weirdly out of date, even though the book is hot off the presses, with 20th century points like “The link changes everything” and “If you’re not searchable, you won’t be found.” (Publishers are often, somewhat unfairly, accused of being Luddite, but they are not that Luddite.) There were also a couple of technical speakers who didn’t seem to make the necessary business connections to the technical points they were making, which would have been helpful to those members of the audience who were less technical and more publishing-product and -process oriented. But these small weaknesses were easily outshone by the many high points, the terrific overall energy, and the clear enthusiasm of the attendees.

One question I have for the O’Reilly folks is to ask how they will keep the energy going. They have a nascent Tools of Change community site. Perhaps they could enlist some paid community managers to seed and moderate conversations, and also tie community activities to other O’Reilly products such as the books and other live and online events.

O’Reilly has very quickly established a very strong conference and an equally strong brand around the conference. With the publishing industry so engulfed in digital change now, I have to think this kind of conference and community can only continue to grow.

Podcast on Structured Content in the Enterprise

Traditionally, the idea of structured content has always been associated with product documentation, but this is beginning to change. Featuring Bill Trippe, Lead Analyst at The Gilbane Group, and Bruce Sharpe, XMetaL Founding Technologist at JustSystems, a brand new podcast on The Business Value of Structured Content takes a look into why many companies are beginning to realize that structured content is more than just a technology for product documentation – it’s a means to add business value to information across the whole enterprise. 

From departmental assets such as marketing website content, sales training materials, or technical support documents, structured content can be used to grow revenue, reduce costs, and mitigate risks, ultimately leading to an improved customer experience.  

Listen to the podcast and gain important insight on how structured content can

  • break through the boundaries of product documentation
  • help organizations meet high user expectations for when and where they can access content
  • prove to be especially valuable in our rough economic times
  • …and more!

A Strategic Roadmap for Structured Content

We are wrapping up our project with JustSystems. In total, we created three papers, three companion webinars, and the the interactive ROI blueprint. I will also be producing a podcast shortly with Bruce Sharpe, JustSystem’s Founding Technologist. You can download the papers and view the recorded webinars here (registration required).
A tip of the hat to Gilbane colleagues Geoffrey Bock, Mary Laplante, and Dale Waldt who did most of the work. It was a big project!

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