I have followed and used Author-it pretty much from the beginning. I have to admit often being confused at family barbeques with the technical aspects, but maybe it was just the beer..? However, conceptually, Author-it has always been ahead of its time and a breath of fresh air. I first used Author-it in 1999 for a military application in East Timor and ever since it has been my primary authoring tool. When the opportunity to represent Author-it in the Middle East came up several years ago, I gladly took up the challenge.
One of the things that became clear at the time was that I did not know much about the Information Management field. So I set out to rectify this. I researched courses that could educate me and provide me with an informed and balanced view of the industry. I chose to undertake the Graduate Diploma of Information Design at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology in New Zealand. It was a tough course that probed deep into this field and kept me very busy for a couple of years. I expected this course would arm me with the knowledge to understand how Author-it fits into this industry. What was unexpected was that Author-it would be covered in two of the six papers on the course.
The first time was in the Research and Theory paper. This paper mentioned Author-it in the context of changing the standard mould and being an industry leader with new concepts. Author-it’s single-sourcing and component content management concepts were explained and highlighted as the next big evolution in information management. This was produced in the context of historical theory of information management.
The second time was two semesters later in the Information Design paper. The context this time was the techniques used to produce professional documents. Author-it was specifically highlighted as one of the first end-to-end solutions to provide a single-sourcing solution to the industry. Single-sourcing concepts were covered in depth as obviously this is seen as an important evolution of the way we manage information.
I am personally impressed that Author-it and associated concepts are being recognized in these courses. It is confirmation that Author-it is indeed an industry leader and that conceptually they are on the right track. I think the ongoing developments (Author-it Live, Xtend, Publishing Profiles, Structured Authoring, Aspect, Assist etc.) that have come out of Author-it are a tribute to them also. It is one thing to be an industry leader, however staying on the leading edge is an even greater challenge. Author-it is doing this well.
Posted by Mark Trotter, Author-it Certified Consultant, TrotterShaw LTD