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    Tim "TC" Lynch

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Writing is like sorting laundry — practical advice for tackling documentation projects

A reader recently asked, This is sort of a beginner question, although I am not technically a beginner. I’ve been helping to maintain a medium sized doc set for a suite of products at a large company for over ten years. I’ve never written a significant document from scratch in my 10+ years as a (Read more...)

10 reasons for moving away from DITA

Several people have asked me why I’m moving away from DITA. During my API workshop at TC Camp, near the end, one experienced DITA person said, What couldn’t you do with DITA in publishing API documentation? Another reader recently said, I’m curious to know why you’re moving away from DITA, since we’re thinking about adopting (Read more...)

API workshop video + audio + slides + workshop files from TC Camp

I recently gave an API workshop at the TC Camp Unconference last weekend in Santa Clara, California. This post includes a video recording of my presentation, along with slides, audio, and workshop files. I actually prepared four separate slide decks for the workshop, but only used 2 and a half of them. I don’t know (Read more...)

Reinventing the table of contents

I’ve been exploring different ways to create a table of contents (TOC). Traditionally, user guides have a long TOC in the left column of each page. This works all right when you have about 50 pages, but when you scale up the doc set to 500 pages, the TOC becomes a bulky, unusable mess. For (Read more...)

Implementing ScrollSpy with Jekyll to auto-build a table of contents

I mentioned in a post last week that I’m experimenting with a Jekyll prototype for technical documentation. I stumbled upon one of the coolest and most interesting topics a few days ago while integrating “ScrollSpy” on Jekyll. ScrollSpy is a dynamic feature that “spys” on the headings as you scroll past them and dynamically highlights (Read more...)