Style guide

We don't prescribe a particular style for XML.com; our articles come from different authors and their style choices vary. These choices are all valid as long as the resulting article can be understood readily by most XML.com readers, and doesn't have grammatical mistakes (particularly those that make the article harder to understand). The few style guidelines we do have are for that reason.

XML.com readers are not all experts in XML, although many of them are experts in other fields. They are looking for information that is explained well, but not over-simplified. Aim for practical information that people can use to solve their business needs, written without too much jargon or formality. If you are writing an article for experts, add links to information about key concepts to aid readers less familiar with your topic.

Avoid jargon or explain what it means.

Be consistent in your spelling - for example, if you use UK English in one part of the article, use it in the rest.

Be consistent in other grammatical choices as well. Examples are:

  • Pick one of sentence case or title case for capitalization for the entire article.
  • Either end each list item in a list with a period (full stop), or end none of them with a period.

Use the abbreviations i.e. and e.g. correctly, or use English words instead ('that is' and 'for example').

Use sufficient punctuation.

Avoid double negatives; the meaning may not be as clear as you think the rules of logic dictate it should be.

Use diagrams and examples where possible.

The introduction to the Economist's style guide is a good summary. The A List Apart Style Guide is also worth reading. You may wish to use a service like Grammarly to help catch typos.