Don’t say “simply”

At this month’s WriteTheDocs London meetup, Jim Fisher of Pusher presented a talk called “Don’t say Simply“.  He talked about words, such as “simply”, that can seem innocuous when written in user documentation, but which show a lack of sympathy when read. He showed how popular “simply” is with developer documentation writers, by showing the number… Read more »

What is the minimal amount of user documentation you should write?

In researching what developers wanted to learn about writing documentation for users, the most common issue related to how much, or how little, they should write. One developer said: “I would want to know what is the minimum I should write. If you can persuade me what is the necessity of each thing I’m capturing, and… Read more »

Review: Modern Technical Writing by Andrew Etter

Andrew Etter has written a short, Kindle ebook called “Modern Technical Writing: An Introduction to Software Documentation“. The book is Andrew’s personal view of technical communication, based on his experience of being a technical communicator in Silicon Valley. It neatly describes the “Docs-like-code” approach to technical writing, and it challenges the impulse to write about everything…. Read more »

XML isn’t the only way to semantic content

I’ve been on the road speaking at a conference this week, and I’ve been listening to a lot of presentations on technical communication. Many of these were on the importance of having structured, semantic content when you are dealing with large amounts of content that needs to be translated into different languages and published in many… Read more »