Complex tools versus simple tools


Neal Kaplan’s post on the Death of Technical Writing, which focuses heavily on comparing complex tools versus simple tools, has caught the attention of the tech comm world in a viral way. The comment thread on the post has some of the best insights I’ve seen. A couple of months ago I posted about a Continue Reading »

DITA: Nested subheadings and the concept element


5/11/2014 update: I updated this post with more accurate information, particularly about nesting concepts within concepts. When you’re writing concept topics, at times you may need a third level subheading. Usually the article title is the first level, your main subsections are your second level, and sections within the subsections are third levels. These correspond Continue Reading »

DITA: Limitations with the chunk=”to-content” attribute in relationship tables


Updated 5/11/2014. DITA has a lot of powerful ways to combine different topics through ditamaps. Although DITA’s architecture encourages a lot of little pieces of content, you can bring these pieces together into articles of more substance. By having smaller chunks of information, you have more capability for re-use into various combinations and outputs. Here’s Continue Reading »

DITA hierarchical links, related links, short descriptions, and one-folder organization


I’m continuing with my series about DITA. In this post, I explain parent-child page links, content re-use when the content exists in different elements, a one-folder-for-all-files organization, and a better workaround to transferring relative links to Drupal. Short descriptions and parent-child pages When you arrange pages hierarchically, the parent pages (that is, pages that have Continue Reading »

My DITA journey begins


I have decided to try out DITA in a more extensive way. I think it will work for my situation, and it’s always fun to experiment with a new method for authoring help material. A few people have asked that I keep them updated on my progress. While the details of my foray into DITA Continue Reading »

STC Chapter provides lavish “all expenses paid” outing to San Diego zoo for members


Note: This was an April Fool’s Day post. The West Bay STC chapter recently provided a special expedition to the San Diego zoo for all chapter members who wanted to participate. 67 members signed up for the special zoo tour, which involved several exclusive behind-the-scenes encounters with animals, including but not limited to the famous Continue Reading »