eComPress - a powerful alternative to PDF for distributing tech reference docs

The online Help DITA Infocenter was built because the PDF and HTML versions of the DITA Language and Architectural Specifications were just too awkward to use for constant reference.

The DITA Infocenter got good reviews. Many users said that the great indexing and search in the Eclipse Help interface really makes it easy to find your way around the hundreds of DITA Specification pages.

Well, today, there is something even better than web-based Help for distributing technical reference documentation of any kind and the DITA Specs in particular.
It will make it easier for you to consult the DITA Specs, even when you are offline.
And it will possibly revolutionize the way your tech pubs group distributes some of your most critical reference information, so it may advance your career as a tech communicator to know about this new publishing technology..
Those of you who use XMetaL have the convenience of the specifications being integrated into your online help, so it is fast and always available on your desktop.
That's how it should be.
This new technology will give all of you super-fast help, whatever your DITA editor.
The technology is called eComPress, from Australian firm Eurofield Information Solutions.
You should read their technical description white paper (ironically in PDF) to understand how it works and all the benefits - especially their search which shows at a glance where all the search hits are throughout the content.
Last month at JoAnn Hackos CM Strategies conference, every attendee received an eComPress version of the DITA Language Specification in the conference handouts USB flash drive.

And every member of DITA Users has been given a copy
Now the eComPress folks have let us provide everyone coming to with a copy of this extraordinary tool.
If you click on the link below, you will get a 30-day evaluation copy, but don't worry, if you like it you need only register with Eurofield and they will grant you a permanent license. eComPress documents are encrypted with a VeriSign certificate, and they can be password protected, to guarantee authenticity.
Here's the link:

The one downside is that eComPress is Windows only. If you have not already bought Parallels or VMWare Fusion for your Mac, this is probably the time to do it.

We are very interested in your reactions to this new way to deliver technical information.
Perhaps after your trying out eComPress, we can get some discussion going by adding  comments below, or maybe we will start a discussion on the mailing list.

Bob Doyle 

URL: Focus Areas: BPEL | DITA | ebXML | IDtrust | OpenDocument | SAML | UBL | UDDI
OASIS sites: OASIS | Cover Pages | | AMQP | CGM Open | eGov | Emergency | IDtrust | LegalXML | Open CSA | OSLC | WS-I