Getting To Know MeDave Lance - AMA

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. The challenge was to display the video quickly and in the context of text that the user is reading. Have it launch, play and fold itself up and put itself away. I tried to build it in jQuery Mobile. Didn't get good results. I looked at jQuery lightbox. I found a usable module that produces the effect with minimal overhead. This is my own invention and design.


This video should subtly augment text that is dense and pithy. Maybe riddled with industry terms. Vague references. Industry specific procedures/applications/tools/methodologies. For most readers, such a paragraph needs a little clarification. The video does this in a few seconds then returns the reader to the text.

v2video html by v3.0

Something even more dense. Riddled with more obscure terms. Complex procedures that must be seen to be understood. The user community is already doing this with their own dusty, dark, out-of-focus and often error-riddled video on YouTube. Now the official documentation can do it better.

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


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