IT/Technical Writing: New Google Chrome and Software from MadCap

New from MadCap Software, Inc.

MadCap has come out with four new apps – lord i have this feeling that I’m gonna be out of date very shortly with my technical writing/Tech. Com. knowledge accrued over the last year during my CRT program at the University of Washington.
MadCap Blaze looked particularly interesting; worth checking out. The gist of their marketing blurb here is a more usable version of Adobe’s FrameMaker. Sounds interesting. Probably TC and Computer Science and the like at UW are on top of such things. Reminds me once more of the reality that my education in my “chosen” field is, well, inadequate, to be blunt.
But sometimes I worry – are we all gonna be woefully outdated in a couple years? I guess in the tech-age knowledge is more and more a commodity. Takes money to know money. That’s capitalism I suppose. But hyper-capitalism, more like. My gosh the rapidity of innovation in IT. Boggles the mind.

Below is an email I got today (I’m on their marketing list for some reason, probably because I registered for a trial version of Flare last spring

<MadCapSales@madcapsoftware.com> wrote:

From: MadCapSales@madcapsoftware.com <MadCapSales@madcapsoftware.com>
Subject: MadCap – Four New Releases
To: —
Date: Monday, September 8, 2008, 12:36 PM
MadCap Software, Inc.

MadCap Software Home

Introducing… Flare Version 4
Continuing to Lead Through Innovation!
Industry-first connectivity with content contributors and reviewers
Brand new reporting engine shows the health and status of your project
New publishing formats including direct to PDF, XPS , XHTML, and AIR™
Print publishing engine that’s gone from great to amazing
Global Project Linking to share project components such as CSS, images, master pages,
and others

Now Available!
Blaze introduces a new paradigm for enterprise print publishing through highly flexible topic-based authoring.
Full Unicode support
Highly configurable auto-numbering for volumes, sections, paragraphs, and pages
Complex page layouts
Conditional text to create multiple versions from one source
Variables
Snippets
Cross-references
Multiple document outlines
Single sourcing to multiple outputs including direct to printer, PDF, XPS, HTML, FrameMaker®,
or Word™
Seamlessly integrate print publishing into a complete document workflow with MadCap Lingo,
X-Edit, Analyzer, and Flare
Blaze is super for people who want to write and publish printed manuals. The content reuse features, such as multiple outlines, will save so much time. It’s really the future!
Bonni Graham, documentation manager, Scantron Corporation
With Blaze’s Page Layout feature, I can reuse document elements quickly and easily. I love it!
John Hedtke, best-selling author, and owner of JVH Communications
I thought I couldn’t live without FrameMaker, and then I met MadCap Blaze. With its emphasis on topic-based writing, I can easily use Blaze to arrange and rearrange information as I see fit, thus freeing my mind from the linear drudgery of bookmaking.
Edward VanArsdall, founder of VanArsdall Information Design
Using Blaze, I’m creating topic-based projects with several content-reuse options to leverage my content in several different ways. With Blaze, I no longer need FrameMaker to get high quality printed outputs for long technical documentation.
Paul Pehrson, technical writer, Attensity Corporation

Now Available!
Using the X-Edit family improves your corporate workflow by allowing subject matter experts and occasional contributors to seamlessly review and provide content for your documentation.
Edit and send documents to Flare or Blaze users for inclusion in projects
Share CSS style sheets and table styles with Flare, Blaze, X-Edit or even your
Web team for a standard corporate look
New publishing formats including direct to PDF, XPS , XHTML, and AIR™
Integration with MadCap Lingo for easy translation
X-Edit Contribute
Flare and Blaze users create contribution templates. Casual contributors use these templates to create content using the correct styles and other project formatting options with an easy-to-use interface. Once completed, documents are emailed to the Flare or Blaze user for inclusion into the project.
X-Edit Review (Free)
Reviewers use X-Edit Review to make edits or annotations to Flare and or Blaze topics. The Flare or Blaze author adds reviewed content to the project. No conversion hassles, no messy formatting, no lost edits – just content in your projects, ready to be published.

Version 2 – New Release!
Analyzer scans your Flare or Blaze project for:
Issues — Broken links, duplicate styles in style sheets, duplicate TOC and outline items, topics
not in selected TOC or outline, and more
Used and unused items — Snippets, topics, styles, variables, map IDs, images, and more
Suggestions — Snippets, variables, index keywords, new styles, writing structure, and more
What’s New in Analyzer Version 2:
Faster installation
New Views
Index Keyword Suggestions
Topics not linked by Map ID
Project annotations
New Reports
Index Keyword Suggestion analysis to improve your project index
Assigned CSH IDs
Project Annotations (sorted by topic or by annotation)
Printable list of topics in target TOC
Topics not Linked by Map ID

Sincerely,MadCap Software Inc.
www.madcapsoftware.com.
sales@madcapsoftware.com
(858) 320-0387
MadCap Privacy and SecurityIf you do not wish to receive news or product information from us, please click here to be removed from our email list.

MadCap Software, Inc., 7777 Fay Avenue, La Jolla, California 92037

Google Chrome

Google’s new open-source browser, available as of today for Windows and I don’t know when for Mac:

well, this video doesn’t tell you a whole lot, but from what they describe, it looks like Chrome will be more efficient than what’s out there; minimalist like google.com is, which is good. Hmm, it’s surprising that there hasn’t been more innovation in the realm of browsers. But I think what has really moved things along is the growth of web-capable mobile devices. From what I can see from screenshots, in its rendering and its look, Chrome reflects this shift.

Supposedly Google has (or had) been backing Mozilla Firefox, particularly as an alternative to Microsoft IE. I’m not sure what will happen with that, but Chrome appears to represent quite a big jump from those two.

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