My company, Creative Words, started out as my entry point into technical writing, translations and markup technology in the early 90s. As its own separate entity, it was little used as it was mainly the co-owner of an umbrella company, GNOSIS-Gruppen, that I ran together with some colleagues while working for various Ericsson companies. 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, more recently, Condesign, where I spent seven years designing document management systems and writing schemas, XSLT, XQuery, XProc and other things starting with ‘X’.
In the beginning of 2015, I got an offer I couldn’t say no to and found myself starting up my company again. Creative Words was revived and now specialises 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. And I learned a lot about English legislation and their legal system.
During XML Prague in 2018, a headhunter called to ask if I was interested in working for a Danish legal publisher, Karnov Group. I thought it sounded cool and spent the next two years visiting Copenhagen about once a month, 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 back to regular consulting. 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.