The parson mug prize draw #7

Bye bye beautiful beaches, welcome to the city! Our mug explored one of the biggest cities in the world. 24 million people live here, and the name means city upon the sea. It also has the longest metro system (637 km). more ...

Working in self-organizing teams. Or: how we get rid of management

Today's world is VUCA : volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Companies are facing complex challenges such as Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. Those who do not respond fast, may be driven out of the market. more ...

Office Pets. Part II: Blacky and Felix

This is the second (and last) part of our blog series about office pets. This time, we present Blacky and Felix, two brothers. They are six years old, curious, and always hungry. more ...

Check if or check that? Or: Have you tried turning if off and on again?

How often do we read or write that we should check something? Example: "Check if the computer is connected to power." Clear message, no misunderstanding. But what if it says: "Check that the computer is connected to power." more ...

Ten questions for Ines Lasch, intern at parson

Ines Lasch just finished her vocational training as a technical writer and is doing an eight-week internship at parson. We asked her ten questions. more ...

Stubborn Susan and Shaky Steve. DITA typology for dummies

Are you a trial-and-error Tom or a jump-right-in Joe? And have you heard of the DITA typology? I haven't. Until today, anyway. Frank Ralf invented it.

Our colleague Frank Ralf attended the DITA Europe in Munich. At the Demo Jam he presented his invention, the DITA types. The following diagram shows their different approaches and results (or failures). The y axis stands for emotions, the x axis for knowledge). Do you recognize yourself in one of the DITA types?

DITA TypenDITA types by Frank Ralf

DITA Types - Dramatis Personae

Stubborn Susan
Stays put, won't write documentation at all, regardless of the format or tool. After all, you can just look at the code, can't you?

Trial-and-error Tom
Quickly gets the hang of the new DITA format, explores DITA by trial and error. If he doesn't know, he calls the support line. Often. But don't worry, he stays relaxed. The way he works keeps him happy and moves him horizontally (knowledge) over time.

Shaky Steve
Knows enough for his daily work. Is happy as long as it works; if not, he panics and his liking of DITA drops instantly. Support calls are always fire-fighting missions, so you better help him quickly. Shaky Steve moves heavily vertically (emotion) without making too much progress horizontally (knowledge).

Jump-right-in Joe
You don't ever hear from him again only to discover after two months that he has implemented a complex @conkeyref-mechnism for his DITA documentation and automatically builds release notes with Jenkins using his own DITA templates.

Grumpy Gary
But there's also a dark side of DITA. At the bottom of his heart, Grumpy Gary is convinced that topic-based documentation using XML is the right way to do. And he is very knowledge-able about everything XML. But the longer he studies DITA the more he recognizes that "all that glitters is not gold".

Enlightened Eliot
The state, all DITA users want to reach eventually.

Tags: DITA
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