Technical documentation

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Technical documentation is a generic term for the classes of information created to describe (in technical language) the use, functionality or architecture of a product, system or service.

Classes of technical documentation[edit]

Classes of technical documentation may include:

Standardizing technical documentation[edit]

Historically, most classes of technical documentation lacked universal conformity (standards) for format, content and structure. Standards are being developed to redress this through bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization(ISO), which has published standards relating to rules for preparation of user guides, manuals, product specifications, etc for technical product documentation. These standards are covered by ICS 01.110.[1] Technical product documentation not covered by ICS 01.110 are listed in the subsection below.

Discipline-specific[edit]

EU Medical Device Regulation[edit]

A technical documentation is also required for medical devices following EU medical device regulation. Annex II, Technical documentation, and Annex III, Technical documentation on post-market surveillance, of the regulation describe the content of a technical documentation for a medical device. This includes e.g. information on the device specification, labelling and instructions, design and manufacture, safety and performance requirements, risk management, and the validatain and verfification of the device, inluding the clinical evaluation; and also information from postmarketing surveillance.

Formats for source data[edit]

Documentation architecture and typing[edit]

Some documentation systems are concerned with the overall types or forms of documentation that constitute a documentation set, as well as (or rather than) how the documentation is produced, published or formatted.

For example, the Diátaxis framework (which is mostly used in the field of software documentation [8]) posits four distinct documentation forms, corresponding to four different user needs: tutorials, how-to guides, reference and explanation.[9] By contrast, DITA asserts five different "topic types": Task, Concept, Reference, Glossary Entry, and Troubleshooting, while RedHat's Modular Documentation system uses three "modules": Concept, Procedure and Reference.[10]

See also[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "01.110: Technical product documentation". International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  2. ^ "ISO 15787:2001 Technical product documentation -- Heat-treated ferrous parts -- Presentation and indications". International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  3. ^ "ISO 3098-0:1997 Technical product documentation -- Lettering -- Part 0: General requirements". International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  4. ^ "ISO 10209-1:1992 Technical product documentation -- Vocabulary -- Part 1: Terms relating to technical drawings: general and types of drawings". International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  5. ^ "ISO 2162-1:1993 Technical product documentation -- Springs -- Part 1: Simplified representation". International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  6. ^ "ISO 5457:1999 Technical product documentation -- Sizes and layout of drawing sheets". International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved 10 June 2009.
  7. ^ ISO6433 Technical product documentation. Part references, BSI British Standards, retrieved 2020-12-16
  8. ^ "Partial list of Diátaxis documentation sets". Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Outline of Diátaxis documentation forms". Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  10. ^ "RedHat Modular Documentation terms and definitions". Retrieved 11 April 2021.