Monthly Archives: September 2012

Parts and Provenance

One of the most neglected aspects of the discussion of topic-based writing is that of provenance. Every technical document has provenance of some kind. It may be a highly structured and elaborate provenance, such as certification according to a standard performed by an outside agency, or it may be the implicit provenance of being published… Read More »

Narrative and Fact in Tech Comm

Based on the responses to my post Topic Size: Finding The Narrative Minim, I think I need to say a little more about what I see as the role of narrative in technical communications. To set the stage with broad brush strokes: The purpose of technical communication is to enable action. Technical communication gives a… Read More »

Topic size: Finding the narrative minim

The first question we need to address in seeking a theory of topic-based information design is the perennial “how big is a topic”. Whether we are talking about the reusable blocks that DITA calls topics, or about Every Page is Page One topics that are sized for a reader, the question of size is always the first… Read More »