Ansible has customers/users all around the globe, but the headquarters is in Durham, NC, in the US. Use Standard American English rather than other variations of the English language.
The idea behind global writing is that everything you say should be understandable by those of many different backgrounds and cultures. References, therefore, should be as universal as possible. Avoid idioms and regionalism and maintain a neutral tone that cannot be misinterpreted. Avoid attempts at humor.
Always follow naming conventions and trademarks. If you aren’t sure how a product should be properly referred to, ask the Engineering Product Manager of that product line (ansible-core or Tower) for information.
Important information stated at the beginning of a sentence makes it easier to understand.
Unclear: The unwise walking about upon the area near the cliff edge may result in a dangerous fall and therefore it is recommended that one remains a safe distance to maintain personal safety.
Clearer: Danger! Stay away from cliff.
Good sentence structure helps convey information. Try to keep the most important information towards the beginning of the sentence.
Bad: Furthermore, large volumes of water are also required for the process of extraction.
Better: Extraction also requires large volumes of water.
When reading a piece of technical writing, the audience does not benefit from elaborate prose. They just need information on how to perform a task. Avoid using padding, or filler. Don’t use phrases such as, kind of, sort of, and essentially.
Prepositional phrases, the combination of a preposition with a noun phrase, are among the worst offenders in making text long and tiresome to read. Often, it is possible to replace an entire phrase with a single word.
Use now instead of at this point in time. Use suddenly instead of all of the sudden.
Write short, succinct sentences. Never say, ”...as has been said before,” ”..each and every,” ”...point in time,” etc. Avoid ”...in order to,” especially at the beginning of sentences. Every word must contribute meaning to the sentence. Technical writing is information delivery.
While it is good to have a wide vocabulary, technical writing is not the place for showing off linguistic abilities. Technical writing is about producing clear, plain instructions for a specific audience.