Getting To Know MeDave Lance ~ Senior Technical Writer

David Alan Lance - 39 Sunset Road - Bedford - MA - 01730

1. Can you give us examples of a state of the art tool that you use today to develop informational design information?

Yes. Here. My little blue buttons. Video is used to augment text. Sort of a video illustration. The video opens, plays and closes. I use jQuery lightbox. These are example videos.


This video can be used to subtly augment dense and pithy text. Quick explaination of industry terms. Illustrate vague references. Demo industry-specific procedures/applications/tools/methodologies. Video illustrations provide depth to the text in a few non-distracting seconds without wrenching the reader out of the reading experience.

v2video html by v3.0

Maybe the blue buttons could be used to augment complex procedure docs. Show the technique that really ought to be seen to be understood. The user community is already does this with tYouTube. The blue buttons enable the tech writer to show video right in the official documentation.

v3video html by v3.0

Quick video explaination. Quickly implemented. To be perfected. My other favorite cutting edge tools are XML, XSLT and XSL-FO in the context of the DITA architecture.

v2video html by v3.0

2. What is your favorite tool?

I have always disliked this sort of question. I was the kid with the long explanation about favorite color being situational, when everyone else's answers were "blue" or "red."

Last winter when I helped my daughter's ballet troupe, the Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, construct a new 25' Nutcracker Christmas Tree, I was handed a tall bag of 6" diameter plastic ornaments and asked to return them cut in half with holes drilled along the edges for wiring to the tree. So, at sunrise of the next day my table saw and power drill were my favorite tools.

When I am editing video, I love Premiere Pro on the muscular PC that I hand built. I like a 16oz hammer for roofing nails and a 20oz for framing. When I am generating JQuery or JavaScript or HTML5 or DITA XML topics, I am old school. Let me work in Notepad++. For animation, I used to love Flash before Steve Jobs expelled it from the Apple walled garden. Now it is HTML5. For screen capture motion, Camtasia. For screen capture static, SnagIT.

As a writer, I believe you get the information down first. Perfect it through engagement with the engineer and QA folks. Only then, format it with XML or PageMaker or FrameMaker or InDesign or source code text or what have you. My favorite tool is whatever the client wants it to be at that point. For line art illustration, I am learned in CorelDraw. But I prefer Illustrator. It is my job (that I take very seriously) to do whatever is necessary to become expert and deliver professional grade content. So has often been my favorite tool, and my wife will testify we could have bought a nice sports car for what we've paid there in subscription fees.

Footnotes / Writing Samples / Video Samples

American Power Conversion User Manual

Church Service Video Channel

My YouTube Channel

My Vimeo Channel

My Resume


Send E-Mail (

Typecast™ by Monotype - Sign up free