Re: Knowledge Bases -- What are they, really?

Subject: Re: Knowledge Bases -- What are they, really?
From: Chris Despopoulos <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2020 14:15:30 +0000 (UTC)

Thanks for the inputs so far...
I'm trying to wrap up the gist of it so far. I think these points come across:
* KBs are more ad hoc than "documentation"* KBs are more collaborative* You can layer a structure over the KB repository, but it is intrinsically flat* So a KB is a lot like a WIKI* KBs include process support -- Some can be quite elaborate platforms
On the down side, I think a number of y'all write KBs off as something shiny, and most people request them because they don't know what they're talking about.Â

I will admit that our current online docs use the old-fashioned 3-frame look, with a scrolling TOC, a banner, and a scrolling topic area. Sorry, but I don't see the more modern look to be more efficient. The new look does things like putting text units on shaded regions, making buttons really BIG, TOC scrolls with the page (not separately), flat/pastel look... Kind of a Tele Tubby design approach. It seems it can sacrifice efficient use of blank space, introduce distractions, and obscure the sense of 3-D "shape" of the overall body of documentation. Or that's my experience, anyway. But when I hear that we want some sort of KB for our docs, I assume that it's largely a request for a Tele Tubby look and feel on the doc set...Â

I'm hoping that is NOT the case, and that there is something bigger and more interesting in the request for a KB approach to the docs. I was hoping for some viable uses of a KB as a substitute for so-called documentation... Something to change my mind.

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