By Larry Kunz
posted on August 31, 2012 09:53
I just came across this, and I love it. It's from the introduction to an HTML5 Handbook, written by Stefan Münz on the German-language "web competence" site.
On the Internet, technical documentation is the salt of the earth. Without documentation there is no Internet - because the techniques and technologies would remain isolated, bound in people's heads, never shared and quickly forgotten. Documentation is therefore the written culture of the Internet and the basis for the Internet's stability.
(The translation is mine, and so is the blame for any errors or misinterpretations.)
We talk a lot about the value of technical communication, but I've never seen it stated in such bold terms.
There is technology. But without technical documentation, the technology exists in isolation -- and eventually dies -- because it's locked inside someone's head.
There is technology. But without technical documentation, the technology goes to waste because nobody knows how to use it.
Technical documentation and, I like to think, the people who produce it, are the salt of the earth. This morning, that puts a little extra spring in my step and gives me a renewed sense of purpose for my work.
How about you? What do you think of Mr. Münz's statement about the value of technical documentation?
About the Author
Larry Kunz is a project manager and information architect with SDI with more than 30 years’ experience as a writer, manager, and planner. He has experienced the transition from book-based documentation to today's integrated delivery of information both as a writer and a manager. Larry is a Fellow in the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and in 2010 received the STC President’s Award for leading the Society's strategic planning effort.