There have been a number of posts recently on whether some commonly accepted best practises in technical writing are actually needed these days. This has come about as people question how they can develop the DITA standard to handle things like lead-in sentences and stem sentences.
These don’t fit into the standard, and a number of people are now saying we don’t really need them. This is very convenient for the DITA standard – it makes the problem go away.
My concern about this is that there has been research that shows “Lexical repetition, cohesive devices and other textual features will need to be incorporated into specifications right from the start, i.e. during the document planning stage.” Indeed, we wrote a blog post on this research back in December.
I trust the needs of the reader will be balanced with the needs of the writer when coming up with an efficient writing standard that works for the reader.