Modular Documentation: How to Make Both Writers and Users Happy


Modular documentation is not a new concept. Writing documentation in modules that can be combined and reused has been around, in various incarnations, for many years, and it has many proponents as well as detractors. This article introduces a lightweight approach to documentation modularity. The idea is rooted in improving content by giving it a better focus through user stories. (See Documentation based on user stories for a discussion on how user story-based documentation compares with feature-based docs.)

DITA and friends

Let me emphasize right from the start: This is not DITA (Document Information Typing Architecture), nor has the approach been inspired by DITA. The focus is on user story-based documentation, and its modular structure is a means to an end—simplifying authoring, ensuring consistency, and streamlining documentation processes.

Learn more about modular documentation in Robert Kratky’s talk, Going Modular: Turning Legacy Docs into User-Story-Based Content, at Open Source Summit EU, which will be held October 23-26 in Prague.