Complex tools versus simple tools

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 »