Sunday 19 September 2021

Timeless documentation

Big Ben clock

Maintaining docs for an evolving software baseline is a constant pain for us technical writers. I'm often helping developers remove time based language from docs, and was surprised that I couldn't find best practices on how to apply this.

So we've added a timeless documentation section to the Google developer documentation style guide. Timeless documentation is documentation that avoids words and phrases that anchor the documentation to a point in time or assume knowledge of prior or future products and features. So while it is okay to reference "a new feature" in news article; "latest" or "new" shouldn't be used in reference docs. The content becomes outdated soon after publication.

You can read more about it in the Google developer documentation style guide.

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