Monthly Archives: January 2013

We Must Remove Publishing and Content Management Concerns from Authoring Systems

In a comment on my Content Wrangler article, It’s Time to Start Separating Content from Behavior, Laura Creekmore said (emphasis mine): [T]his conversation has brought to mind some thoughts I’ve had recently, and I think this is an even more difficult issue. Because eventually, we’re going to come up with all the technological fixes we need to resolve the… Read More »

Flat Earth Tech Comm

Working with my current client has really reinforced for me how much traditional documentation methods involve flattening reality. The client is dealing with a large body of troubleshooting information, in which there are complex relationships between issues the user experiences, the symptoms that help narrow down the issue, the configurations under which symptoms can occur, and the… Read More »

Confusing Analytic and Synthetic Truths in Defining Topic Types

Ray Gallon’s recent post, Let’s Break a Tech Comm Rule proposes that we should rethink the idea of separating tasks from concepts. Hooray! It’s no secret that I’m no fan of this separation. Reading Ray’s post, also sparks this thought. It is a common and sometimes catastrophic error to confuse an analytic truth with a synthetic truth. That… Read More »

We Need a New Economic Model for Tech Writing Tools

Tom Johnson’s correspondent, Sam from Canada, asks if tool vendors are not more to blame for the slow pace of change in tech comm than tech writers themselves: Hi Tom, I’ve been enjoying your posts along with Mark Baker’s. You both have good points about technical writing trends. I could be totally wrong, but maybe it’s not the tech… Read More »