My company, Creative Words, started out as my entry point into technical writing, translations and markup technology in the early 90s. My company was part of GNOSIS-Gruppen, alongside some colleagues while working for various Ericsson companies, and for a time I’d never have presented myself as Ari Nordström at Creative Words, only as Ari Nordström at GNOSIS.
Then the IT bubble burst and we were all employed by others. I was at Information & Media, Crepido Systems, Sigma, and Condesign, where I spent seven years designing document management systems and writing schemas, XSLT, XQuery, XProc and other things starting with ‘X’.
In 2015, I revived Creative Words, now specialising in markup technologies and XML expertise. I spent more than two and a half years working as a Content Architect for LexisNexis, one of the world’s largest legal publishers.
At LexisNexis, I got to work with lots of markup people like myself, but also with most XML technologies out there (we even invented some new ones ourselves). I did a lot of legal commentary, which is pretty much what it sounds like. For example, I converted the venerable 104-volume Halsbury’s Laws of England (Wikipedia describes Halsbury’s as “a uniquely comprehensive encyclopaedia of law [that] provides the only complete narrative statement of law in England and Wales”) from RTF to XML, and I wrote pipelines to produce consolidated tables of cases, statutes and indices. I learned a lot about English legislation and their legal system.
I then spent two years working for a Danish legal publisher, Karnov Group, merging Karnov’s Swedish legislation libraries with those of recent acquisition Norstedts juridik‘s, and converting legal commentary in MS Word format to DocBook XML. I also introduced XProc pipelining to their publishing processes, always a win.
Today, I’m doing lots of DITA-related work for the aerospace and automotive industries, but also DocBook conversion and publishing, and I even squeezed in an SGML project. I’ve contributed to the XProc 3.0 standard by chairing the W3C XProc Next community group, and I’m heavily involved in markup conferences on this side of the globe.