The transition from DTP to structured writing continues to be a bumpy one, and content management issues continue to plague many implementations. In many cases, the content management strategy depends on writers structuring things properly and they fall apart when writers fail to do so. For instance, reuse of chunks of information ought to make… Read More »
The one concession I have been willing to make to the fine chunking characteristic of many DITA implementations is that it was a boon to translation. Apparently not so, according to a recent blog post on Content Rules. The problem is that fine chunking tends to obscure context, making the content impossible to translate reliably.… Read More »
Noz Urbina asks, Is Communication Mired in the Past? Well, yes, obviously. Most of the tech comms world is still making books in FrameMaker. But also no, because the problem is more profound than the words “mired in the past suggest”. People get mired in things through carelessness or misfortune. They want to get out,… Read More »
In a recent blog post, Tom Johnson writes on The Importance of Chunking for Sorting. He also acknowledges that finely chunking content can cause problems when you try to retrieve that content with a query:
A document may be flower, a rock, or a tree. That is, it may bloom for a day and be dead tomorrow, like a newspaper. It may last forever and never change, like Pride and Prejudice or King Lear. Or it may grow and change over the course of a long, if not endless, life… Read More »
Tom Johnson (I’d Rather be Writing) provides an excellent summary of Weinberger’s Everything as Miscellaneous. He says “I have never read a more relevant book for technical communicators than Weinberger’s Everything Is Miscellaneous.” I wholly agree. Weinberger’s book is the seed of my own ideas on Every Page is Page One. Johnson identifies Weinberger’s central thesis,… Read More »
I was reflecting today on whether companies are making the best strategic use of their documentation departments. Of course, we doc folk believe that no self respecting corporation should ever let any product go out the door without full, brilliant, richly illustrated documentation — preferable printed on acid free archival quality paper and bound in… Read More »
Just back from JoAnn Hackos’ CMS/DITA conference, where it became clear that even in a conference dedicated to a topic-based authoring methodology, most people are still writing books. Certainly, they are writing them in the form of topics, but then stitching them together into books. The fundamental product is still a book.