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Swinburne University Uses Flare From Madcap Software To Teach Online Help Content Development

Flare’s Modern Architecture Provides Basis for Learning Online Best Practices and Concepts That Apply to Future Use of DITA

San Diego, CA, USA – November 27, 2007 — MadCap Software, the leader in multi-channel content authoring and a showcase company for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Visual Studio 2005 and Microsoft XPS, today announced that Swinburne University has adopted MadCap Flare 3.0 for its post-graduate technical communications program. Since July 2007, Swinburne, which is part of Australia’s Open Universities program, has used Flare as the designated tool for students to learn and apply best practices in its online Help content development course.

“We established our technical communications certificate and diploma program to meet industry demands and create an opportunity for individuals to choose technical writing as a profession,” said Tony Self, a lecturer in the technical communications program at Swinburne University. “In the latest review of our program, we recognized it was time to change to a future-proof Help authoring tool. We like Flare’s fully standards-based architecture and the fact that it can provide output in XHTML, not just the HTML format of older tools. Moreover, the range of linking and layering features in Flare allows students to learn the full gamut of techniques available to Help authors.”

The online Help content development course using Flare has proven to serve as a good foundation for students planning to take the world’s first course on the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), an XML-based approach for designing, writing, managing and publishing information. In January 2008, Mr. Self, who is a member of the DITA technical committee and chair of the DITA Help sub-committee will teach the new class.

“DITA is very likely to become the next big thing in content authoring. That is why it’s important to be familiar with standards-compliant XML software like Flare, which shares core principles in structured authoring with DITA,” Mr. Self explains. “By understanding how to develop content in Flare, technical communications professionals can significantly reduce the learning curve of DITA. And because Flare is future-proof, authors can be assured that they will always be able to move forward seamlessly with the introduction of new technologies and architectures such as DITA.”

One of the central concepts in DITA that can be found in Flare is the separation of content from the style and formatting, says Mr. Self. He notes that the use of cascading style sheets, which are separate from the writing, dovetails nicely with DITA’s structured approach. He adds that another important concept is reusable content, which in Flare is realized through the use of snippets.

“Swinburne University is leading the global technical writing community in modernizing Help content development practices for the Web environment that is becoming the primary channel for communications,” said Anthony Olivier, MadCap Software CEO. “We’re thrilled to have Flare designated as the tool to teach technical communications professionals best practices for today and prepare for them for the future.”

About Swinburne University

Swinburne University, based in Melbourne, has a strong history of providing quality, career-oriented education for both undergraduates and postgraduates. The University offers a wide range of postgraduate courses ranging from graduate certificates through to PhDs, providing Swinburne graduates with the skills and knowledge that will help them find jobs and success in their careers. While focusing on its regional responsibilities, Swinburne is heavily involved in international initiatives and plays a significant part in the internationalization of Australia’s tertiary education system.

About MadCap Software

MadCap Software is a trusted resource for more than 20,000 companies around the globe for single-source, multi-channel authoring and publishing solutions designed to streamline the process of developing and delivering training content, learning and development programs, technical documentation, online Help, knowledge bases, and more. From authoring, publishing and translation, to cloud-based project and content management, to contribution and review in the cloud, you can streamline content delivery and manage the entire content development lifecycle with MadCap Software. MadCap Software’s services include product training, consulting services, translation and localization, and an advanced developer certification program. Headquartered in San Diego, California, with offices in Austin, TX, MadCap Software is home to some of the most experienced software architects and product experts in the content development industry.


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