PODCAST 39: Three levels of Help

February 24th, 2013   1 Comment

Podcast host: Alistair Christie

Oxford Bar (source: www.flickr.com/photos/bebopgirl1969/7051101861)Graham Campbell and I met up after work for a pint and a chat in The Oxford Bar. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, The Oxford Bar is a tiny little two-room pub in the New Town of Edinburgh which first became a pub back in 1811. More recently it has become well known through mentions in Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels. The evening we met there was a very smoky coal fire burning and, as I mention in the recording, we came away from there with clothes stinking of coal smoke. This is the reason you can hear quite a lot of coughing in the background, although we both managed to get through the podcast without spluttering or gasping for breath. We were in the side room, which filled up while we were there, so there’s a lot of background noise. It actually sounds like we’re in a big place with lots and lots of people – we weren’t: we were in a small room with just a few other people. I hope you are able to make out what we’re saying amid all the background chat. I was recording this using an iPod Nano and an iPhone and I’m actually quite amazed the recording turned out as well as it did.


Fire in the Oxford BarIn this podcast:

  • Graham discusses the 3 levels of user assistance he’s implementing for a project he’s working on:

    1. "Guide me"

    2. "Read more"

    3. Guided tours using Bootstrap Tour

  • I scratch the surface of the subject of translating software documentation. Managing documentation translation is a whole career in itself, so I really only touch on this and mention just a few of the issues I’ve faced working on this over the past few months. These include: allowing plenty of time, supplying the translators with a glossary, and figuring out how you’re going to verify the translation.
  • We both chunter on about about attempting (as British technical writers) to write in US English. We agree that, even if you remember to drop the Us in words like colour, and to use a single L in words like canceled, and when there’s punctuation immediately after a quotation to put it inside the closing quote mark, you’re unlikely to prevent a US reader realising that your documentation has not been written by a native writer of US English. 

Pints in the Oxford BarRecommendations

artofexplanation-bookcover-80x102Graham: The Art of Explanation by Lee LeFever

reaper-logo-80x83Alistair: REAPER audio editing application

The music I play at the beginning and end of the show is by Amplifico. You can find some of their music on iTunes.

Want to get emailed next time I publish a podcast?


RSS Feed RSS Feed   Add to iTunes Add to iTunes

ITauthor.com/podcasts – the technical writing podcast

Potentially similar posts

Comments are closed

  1. User Gravatar Graham said:

    March 12th, 2013 at 3:37 pm (#)

    Where’s that top ten tips on translation article then? ;)