Blog

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 ...

Vocational Training for Technical Communicators. How Does it Work?

Anja Schiel, trainee, and Ulrike Parson, CEO of parson AG, offer their insights into the vocational training for technical communicators. more ...

Make Technical Documentation Intelligent - From Content Management to Content Delivery

In this article, Martin Kreutzer and Ulrike Parson describe how you fill content-delivery portals with intelligent information so that users quickly get the right answers to their questions. more ...

parson's mentoring program

You sent the job application and the interview went well. Now comes your first day at work. Everything is strange: colleagues whose names you immediately forget, business processes, the ERP system. Even the coffee machine doesn't work right away. And where was that meeting room again? 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

Add comment


  • facebook
  • linkedin
  • xing