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Subject:Re: Text is bad: Was Ideas in Motion From:"Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com> To:mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com Date:Fri, 17 Mar 2000 07:24:54 PST
Mark Baker said:
The written word is one of the most potent of all our technologies. ....
Not when it comes to documenting procedural information on systems. In
systems, procedure is, except at the very detail level, highly asynchronous
- multiple things occurring at the same time and multi-decision branching.
Written text is very synchronous (i.e., sequential).
Every graphical procedure documenting technique (like data flow diagrams) is
based on the principle that you can not effectively use a synchronous
technique (text) to document asynchronous information.
There are other very important reasons why text is poor for documenting
procedural information. Such as verification: Asynchronous procedure is
very hard to document correctly the first time (or second time); multiple
walkthroughs with end-users is required.
Try conducting a meaningful walkthrough of complex written procedure with an
end-user - even a highly motivated end user. Folks, it just is not going to
happen! Oh sure, you will get a few correction marks and the like - buts
thats about it.
In contrast, walkthroughs of (well constructed) dfds yields a wealth of
information (corrections) and result in much higher quality procedural