Interactive Intelligent Style Guides


George Bina
Director, Syncro Soft / oXygen XML Editor


January 23, 2019 - 2:00 PM


January 23, 2019 - 3:00 PM

Interactive Intelligent Style Guides

Style guides started as set of rules written in prose that people had to learn and follow when writing content. Using a style guide is a virtual necessity to help avoid repeating mistakes and to maintain consistency throughout your documentation. To eliminate the overhead of learning all the rules before starting to write, an intelligent style guide can be used to enforce the rules automatically by detecting problems and offering possible solutions the writer can choose from. Such style guides are not only possible, but immediately available to you!

This presentation will cover all aspects of an interactive intelligent style guide, covering both the writer's perspective (the user of the style guide), and the information architect's role (the person that creates and maintains the style guide). I will show and explain the main features of a modern style guide that distinguishes it from traditional ones:

  • Discoverable
  • Enforceable
  • Interactive
  • Dynamic

and how these can be implemented using the state of the art technologies available today, such as:

  • Structured formats/XML
  • ISO Schematron
  • Schematron Quick Fix
  • Versioning/Git
  • Continuous integration

Key takeaways:

  • You cannot expect people to learn and remember all the rules from a style guide before starting to write, the check against the style guide should be automated and writers should be informed when they break a rule, possibly suggesting them some possible solutions to solve the issue.
  • Style guides are not static, they need to evolve in time as the project evolves, so a modern style guide should enable some form of feedback to allow writers to provide feedback to the information architect in charge of the style guide maintenance.
  • We use single sourcing for documentation for its benefits, we should do the same for style guides and automated rules, so we should keep the rules and the style guide prose in the same place.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do education events take place?

Webinars are held every Wednesday afternoon from 2-3 PM EDT/EST (GMT-4/5).

A majority of online courses are held Tuesdays-Thursdays between 10:00 AM-1:00 PM EDT/EST (GMT-4/5), as to not conflict with webinar times.

When will I receive the Adobe Connect instructions for an event?

Registered attendees will receive the Adobe Connect instructions three (3) hours before the webinar begins, approximately at 11:00 AM EDT/EST.

Registered attendees will receive the Adobe Connect instructions one (1) day before the online course begins.

To participate in a webinar and an online course, you must be able to access Adobe Connect, STC's online meeting space. You can test your Adobe Connect connection here. Adobe Connect is a standard web seminar tool (no separate download required) and all you need is a reliable Internet connection and phone line, or a computer with VoIP capabilities.

I registered for an online course, what are my next steps?

Once you register for an online course, you will receive a confirmation receipt that day. A majority of our online courses uses Moodle, STC's course management site, which attendees will receive the login instructions two (2) days before the course begins.

If you cannot access Adobe Connect and/or Moodle (as needed), then you will not be able to successfully complete an online course.

I registered for a webinar, but will be unable to attend. Will a recording be available?

If a registered attendee is unable to attend a webinar that day, they will receive an email with a link to the recording, and an evaluation link along with the PDF of the presentation.

I registered for a webinar and/or an online course, but cannot attend at that time. Will I receive a refund?

If a registered attendee is unable to attend a webinar and/or an online course, the cost is transferable to a future event, but is not refundable. Online registration closes one-two business days before the education event begins.

I want to take a specific course that isn't listed online. Will it be offered in the future?

STC rotates its courses every year as we try to offer the most popular ones within the first half of the year. Online courses are subject to change or are offered more than once per quarter. If a course is not listed, STC will offer it again in the following year.

Have an Education Question? Contact Us!


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