Saturday, May 3, 2008

How We Got Here - A History of DITA (and other things that we see today, not necessarily DITA-related)

Technical communication tends to focus either on the present (gotta finish the project...) or on the future (what's the next big thing and how might it affect me). The past sometimes gets lost. Yet if we get beyond the "When I was your age..." stories, the past can often teach us a lot - why did a particular technology or tool or methodology fail ten years ago, for example - letting us draw parallels to something we're doing today. And if nothing else, the past is intellectually interesting. How did we get to where we are today...

On that note, I recommend reading a history of DITA, written by long-time DITA consultant (among many other things) Bob Doyle. The article, available at describes the history of DITA but, in a larger sense, describes the evolution of today's technical communication field. Highly recommended.

No comments: