Flare 11 and Foundation

by Todd Phillips, published 8 April, 2015

Figures. Just when I got comfortable with Skeleton, I got interested in Flarestrap and began learning Bootstrap. Now that I've gotten comfortable with Bootstrap, MadCap releases Flare 11 which leans on Foundation to create their new HTML5 Top Navigation skin. Now I'm digging in to Foundation. Sigh.

Foundation is another grid-based framework for designing modern web pages, similar to Bootstrap or Skeleton. Learning Foundation, if you are familiar with the others, will be a simple matter of learning a different set of class names. I can't really back up the opinion, but so far I feel that Foundation is easier to learn than Bootstrap was. Zurb did an excellent job of creating Foundation, and I think MadCap made a smart choice picking Foundation to build out it's Top Navigation skin.

Adding Bootstrap Tabs in Flare

by Todd Phillips, published 4 February 2015

Recently, I've been working hard to master the use of the Bootstrap framework within MadCap Flare using the Flarestrap project. This has been a big learning curve for me, because I typically publish in PDF first and HTML 5 as a secondary channel. The API documentation project I'm working on is just the opposite; we're publishing first in HTML 5 and offering a PDF download as a secondary option.

Flarestrap has offered a significant upgrade to the functionality available within Flare, especially as regards the responsive output. Bootstrap is first and foremost a responsive framework. It works as well on a phone as it does on a desktop computer. This was a 'nice to have' requirement for the API project, but something I wanted to achieve.

Multi-select in Brackets

by Todd Phillips, published 9 December 2014

Have you ever had a small bit of text or code that needs to be inserted at the beginning of several paragraphs? You type the fragment once, select it, copy it, and then proceed to paste it in several places while hoping the mindlessness of the task won't cause you to make a stupid mistake. Have you wanted an easier way?

I recently found myself in this very situation, sighing at the dull repetition. Until I made a discovery.

Adobe Releases New Code Authoring Tool

by Todd Phillips, published 6 November 2014

I was reading through LinkedIn the other day and one of the managers at the company where I work posted an article talking about Adobe's newest foray into the code authoring world: Brackets. Most technical writers are also closet coders. For all the time we need to get down into the nitty-gritty of HTMl, XML, and XHTML, we pick things up. And a good code authoring tool is valuable when you find yourself working between the tags.

Cloud-Based Source Control for MadCap Flare

by Todd Phillips, published 20 May 2014

I work in a small group of writers surrounded by Agile developers. Thank you for your condolences, they are appreciated. The development teams have a locally implemented source control architecture utilizing Microsoft Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server (TFS). Madcap Flare supports TFS for source control, however, my colleagues seem to think that letting the unwashed hordes of barbarian writers in to their inner sanctum would cause reality-tearing consequences. For the record, writers are very good at personal hygiene, thank you very much. Still, the lack of welcome into the TFS server meant that I had to locate another viable option for source control and disaster recovery.