SLIDE 4 1. I attended MadWorld 2017 at the beginning of April. There, I learnt about Flare User Groups. 2. It got me thinking. I recalled all the conversations about Flare that I had with various people. They were complaining that we don’t have any place in Poland to learn about MadCap Flare. 3. I thought it’d be a good idea to create a Flare User Group in Poland. I ran this idea by my colleagues at 3di Poland. They were all on board so we got to work. 4. We established the Poland MadCap Flare User Group.
SLIDE 5 I learnt about Flare User Groups from Nita Beck. She coordinates the user groups around the world. If anyone wants to start a new Flare User Group, they need to talk to her.
SLIDE 6 Our user group isn’t meant to substitute the MadCap Support and MadCap Training Program. We want to be an additional source of knowledge and inspiration for Flare users in Poland.
SLIDE 7 We want the members to shape actively the group. Therefore, we prefer „active forms” of meetings, like discussions and workshops. Presentations are also possible but they should only be an introduction to the subject that will be discussed in the next part of the meeting.
SLIDE 8 Three parties are involved in the group: 1. MadCap Software 2. 3di Poland 3. Members
To explain the role and responisibilities of each party, I’ll use an analogy to a family.
SLIDE 9 3di Poland are parents who take their kids to a playground but then let them play. In other words, the parents give the kids a space and toys to play and then just make sure everything goes well. If there are problems, the parents can try to help.
SLIDE 10 MadCap Software are grandparents helping the parents to raise their grandkids. The grandkids aren’t their own kids, so the grandparents don’t take over the role of the parents; they only help when needed. The grandparents are also a source of wisdom and experience and they’re willing to share it. They’re proud of their grandkids and their parents, so they boast about them among their friends and family members.
SLIDE 11 Members are kids. They play and learn together with assitance of their parents and grandparents. The parents and grandparents care about them the most, because “kids always come first!”.
SLIDE 12 Our user group isn’t a local idea. It’s part of a global undertaking supported by MadCap Software to have Flare User Groups around the world.
SLIDE 13 No notes
SLIDE 14 No notes
SLIDE 15 We don’t want to promote the „lecturing model” where one person is positioned as the authority and other members just listen passively. The idea is to engage all the members in the conversation regardless of their level of expertise. The members shape the group. We don’t want this to be an empty slogan, we really hope to see everybody actively involved in the meetings.
SLIDE 16 There are still some questions we need to address: 1. Should we create a possibility for Flare users located in other parts of Poland to join the group meetings remotely? If yes, we need to make sure that they are able to interact with other users, not only watch the streaming because that would be against the idea of active participation. 2. How often should we meet? 3. What day of the week and what time are the most suitable for everyone? 4. How long should the meetings be? 5. How should the meetings look like? Should we have an agenda prepared beforehand or decide about the subject at the beginning of each meeting?
SLIDE 17 - Over 300 attendees - The conference had a really good vibe – friendly people, good food, organized professionally - Although, it was a conference centered on MadCap products, I didn’t feel „indoctrinated”. The fact that it was focused on specific products caused that the presentations were very practical.
SLIDE 18 The first day of presentations started with an opening session: - Anthony Olivier, CEO at MadCap Software, said a few words about the company, its goals, new features in Flare - Speakers had a chance to talk about their presentations and workshops – good occassion to learn more about the sessions and decide which sessions to attend
The presentations I attended covered the following topics: - Reuse – snippets and variables. An idea to create a snippet with an empty table that you insert and convert to text (use it as a table template) really caught on. - Tips for using Flare – Quick Launch, File List view, Locate in TOC and Locate in Explorer options, Window Layouts - Responsive Design – Responsive Design Editor starting from Flare 12 and responsive HTML5 skin - Review process using Analyzer, Contributor and File Tags in Flare - Using Flare and Confluence to create and review content – biggest challenge is no direct integration between these two tool. Workaround – 1. Export to Word from Confluence, import from Word into Flare, and vice versa 2. Use clean XHTML format and then import into Flare (this output is available from Flare 2017) 3. Use Confluence plugins, like Scroll HTML Exporter - Templates available in Flare – ther’s a Slideshow template for creating presentations - jQuery plugins in HTML5 output – readingTime (shows word count and approximate reading time of the page), tableExport (exports tables to multiple formats), magnify (allows you to zoom in parts of an image), tableHeaders (freezes table headers) - Page Layouts – you can have two Body Frames and decide how the content flows between them - MadCap Flare Wishlist: Open Forum – a discussion with MadCap employees about things the users would like to see in the upcoming versions of Flare. The attendees proposed things like several filters in search, more robust project analytics (analysing language complexity), improvements in the FrameMaker import, integration with JIRA and Confluence.
The workhop sessions I attended covered the following topics: - Content Reuse – Global Project Linking and Runtime merge - CSS – autonumbering, transitions, CSS Grid Layout (rows and columns) - Bootcamp – two sessions to prepare for MAD certification.
SLIDE 19 Each day ended with a networking event. One day we went to a country bar where we could learn American line dance.
The conference app was really useful: - Conference schedule – you could mark the sessions you wanted to attend and set up reminders - Live feed – like Twitter. People were adding photos, comments, likes. There was leaderboard – the most active users got rewards at the end of the conference. - Attendees’ profiles – you could check who was attending the conference. Some people linked their app profiles with their LinkedIn profiles
SLIDE 20 Very important part of the conference. Some attendees admitted that just this possiblity to talk to the support in person is worh the price of the conference admission. The lounge was busy, but because it was open for 3 days it wasn’t a problem to find a free spot.
SLIDE 21 Good location and catering. The breakfast and lunch were served on a terrace – a chance to get some sun during the day.
SLIDE 22 - Lots of craft breweries in San Diego - Coronado Beach - Seaport Village – it’s like a fisherman village in the city centre - USS Midway - an out-of-service aircraft carrier acting as a museum; one of the main tourist attractions in San Diego - Spruce Street suspension bridge – a pedestrian passage across a small canyon
SLIDE 23 Tell us something about yourself
SLIDE 24 Follow us on Facebook or Meetup. If you have any questions, contact us by email.
• Hi, my name is…
• A few words about the group
• Who is who
• Flare User Groups around the world
• MadWorld 2017
Hi, my name is…
• Senior Technical Writer at 3di Poland
• Over 1 year of Flare experience
• Originator of Poland MadCap Flare User Group