Re: The Wave of a TW's Future: (was RE: Tools & Technologies)

Subject: Re: The Wave of a TW's Future: (was RE: Tools & Technologies)
From: "Paul Strasser" <paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 11:43:23 -0700

> >
> > Will XML lead us in 20 to 25 years, or will we TWs
> > lead XML?
> >

> Interesting question. I *hope* professionalism drives
> technological advancement, but who knows...
> 25 years ago, did you think tech writers would be
> working in an XML database structure, publishing to
> print, PDF, web, online help, PDA, cell phone
> messaging, and pager network formats? OK, supposing
> these technologies were even a semi-realistic idea?
> Projecting 25 years in advance is hard to do.

In 25 years a large percentage of the population still won't be able to
write their way out of a wet paper bag -- assuming there are still paper
bags 25 years from now. Arguing over the tools we'll use, or whether we're
writing for memory implants or our output is edited by our new Martian
Masters or designed for papyrus is amusing but almost certainly pointless.
I get the strong sense that people who can write coherent technical
documentation now will be able to write it in the future.

XML is just another step that we will all get used to. It wouldn't surprise
me that we'll look back fondly on XML the way we today look back on WordStar
or Electric Pencil. (I suppose there were tech writers in the 70's and
early 80's who also discussed how important WordStar will be in 2001 --
should tech writers lead the WordStar, or will it lead us?)

I'd strongly urge TW's to get to know XML, but only to keep up to date with
technology -- not to pad their resumes for the hot job market in 2026.

Paul Strasser

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Re: The Wave of a TW's Future: (was RE: Tools & Technologies): From: Iggy

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