At least as far as the tools of our particular trade go. I’ve mentioned it in this space before, and this is my solemn declaration of my position.
Gordon McLean summed it perfectly for me when he wrote:
The tool is not important
And Adam Hyde of FLOSS Manuals expanded on that thought when he told me that he’s found that there’s a lot of tool fetishism in the wacky world of technical communication. I’ve felt that for a number of years, but it took someone from outside of our wacky world to articulate that feeling for me.
I’m not going to go into a long rant about tool and technology fetishism. It’s been done before. Consult your favourite search engine to learn more.
This is coming from a guy who, a decade ago, thought it was FrameMaker or nothing. How times and opinions change … I realize now what I always seemed to know: how you write and publish content pales in importance to the quality of the content itself.
FrameMaker, RoboHelp, Word, OpenOffice.org Writer, Flare, Blaze, AuthorIt, DocBook, DITA, WebWorks. Single sourcing, content-based authoring, component content management. All of them (and many, many other tools, techniques, and technologies) have their uses, their strengths, and their places.
I’m not going to ponder which one is better than another, or which is the best. I’m not going to stress over radical changes to the interface in a new release of a particular app. I’m not going to swoon over the latest fad or fancy in authoring techniques.
Instead, I’m going to do one of the few things that I’m really good at: I’m going to adapt as needed. I’m going to take advantage of my knowledge and experience. I’m going to learn. I’m going to use the right tool and the right techniques for a particular job.
And that’s what works for me.