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Masterpieces and standards of technical documentation

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In everyday language, we use the word “masterpiece” to refer to something extraordinary well-done, carried out in an absolutely new manner that will affect other works of that kind or field.

It may seem that there is no way for a masterpiece to appear in IT or any other technical fields. The technical sphere is very pragmatic and is targeted at solving concrete problems, while the Arts is targeted at improving of its works. But still, a technical “masterpiece” – can be a kind of solution that is created to handle a challenging task. This kind of solution will always bring new methods and standards into an industry.

A technical document of a masterpiece level will appear to address absolutely new target audience or type of technical solutions.

There at least two vogues that called for technical docs masterpieces to appear:

  1. At the end of 1980’s and the beginning of 1990’s, the period when complex development environments for mass programmer-users were introduced. (That is when the “Inside Macintosh” and a series of technical documents for the Borland development environment were created.)
  2. Technical communication docs for the open source projects.

These are the trends that involved quite a great amount of people and influenced on the modern technical documentation image and style.

Extra researches are required to tell how exactly the new features affected the technical communication standards changes.

Mikhail Ostrogorskij

Mikhail OstrogorskijMikhail Ostrogorskij

Mikhail Ostrogorskij is founder and director of PhiloSoft, a Russia-based company that specializes in technical communication. He has been working in technical communication since 1996.


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