Tag Archives: books

The Design Implications of Tool Choices

Every documentation tool has a built in information design bias. When you choose a tool, be it FrameMaker, DITA, AuthorIt, a WIKI, or SPFE, you are implicitly choosing an approach to information design. If you don’t understand and accept the design implications of your tool choice, as many people do not, you are setting yourself… Read More »

Frankenbooks Must Die: A Rant

I was astonished at Sarah Maddox’s statement, in her guest post Why don’t technical writers use wikis — or do they? on I’d Rather be Writing, that wikis are not good at topic-based writing. Huh? Wikis are all about topic-based writing. In fact, it is the only type of writing they really support. What’s wrong here?… Read More »

Characteristics of EPPO Topics: Stay on One Level

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Characteristics of an EPPO topic

One of the less obvious but more important characteristics of an Every Page is Page One topic is that it stays on one level. As with the other characteristics I have discussed in this series, being standalone, having a specific limited purpose, and establishing its context, staying on one level is not an ideal, but… Read More »

Approximation, Correction, and Tech Comm

At the Battle of Balaclava, an order reached a brigade of light cavalry to take the Russian guns. The general who sent the order was referring to a small artillery position that had been abandoned. But the commander of the light brigade could not see those guns. He could only see the main Russian battery… Read More »

Why You Hate Your CMS

Today, Alan Houser (@arh) tweeted: Before I die, I want to hear somebody speak well of their CMS. Especially in #techcomm. Surely somebody must be happy with theirs. To which I (@mbakeranalecta) replied: Indeed, but the CMS model is wrong. Can’t manage large data sets on desktop model. Can’t have good implementation of a broken… Read More »