Saturday, July 17, 2010

some questions about tools and techniques

Mark Fidelman's post about the survey regarding technical communicators and their tools - How well do you know Technical Communicators and their tools? - got me thinking about all kinds of things I want to know about the current state of the tech writing universe. I thought about writing a blog post about each of these questions, but then it hit me that it might be more thought provoking to just blast out the questions.


Where are the content management tools in all of this? Nobody using Expression or Drupal?

Why are there so many competing tools? Development tools aren't this incompatible.

What's so important about HTML5?


Why are people still writing verbose narrative documents? Why are specs from pharmaceutical companies so bad? Why isn't anybody doing anything about it? Why are technical communicators so blase about the crappy reputation of our profession?

Why can't we learn to write short sentences in the present tense and active voice? Why is this technique news to tech writers? It was drummed into me early and often. I've communicated it to my staff back in the days when I managed tech pubs departments. What is the big deal?

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