Test-driving dynamic documentation

Dynamic, database-driven authoring systems are the current "holy grail" of technical documentation. If you'd like to get a taste of this approach you have two choices. You can spend a bunch of money for one of the commercial solutions. Or, you can puzzle through one of the Byzantine open source implementations which, more often than not, are designed with little thought towards how actual technical writers work.

There's an in-between choice, too. Try out Alex King's PHP Doc System. It offers a taste of generated content, authoring using forms-based input, and other interesting features. It's a lot to get your head around at first, particularly if you're used to document-based models of writing, but once you've "groked" it, you'll get a feel for how this approach can differ from traditional authoring.

The PHP Doc website offers the application code, sample projects, and links to documents created using the tool. Have fun.

Posted: October 19, 2006 link to this item, Tweet this item, respond to this item