Improving public documentation

One of the more interesting opportunities for technical writers today is to take freely-available documentation and enhance it by adding additional information, improved information architecture, or a more usable interface. The latter approach is the most common, with PHP Function Index from Artis Software being a good example. With this application users download the HTML-version of the PHP documentation from the web, then use PHP Function Index to search, display, and bookmark favorite sections. It demonstrates the power of a specialized, optimized application for displaying documentation but, as on offline reader, relies on the user to occasionally refresh their local copy to avail themselves of the latest updates. For many, that's a very acceptable tradeoff. As this idea catches on, we might see even better solutions emerge.

Posted: December 12, 2004 link to this item, Tweet this item, respond to this item