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> My point being: someone's credibility should not be gauged by their command
> of irrelevant knowledge. Knowledge of the audience's domain is what's
> important for a writer, not knowledge of the programmer's domain. The only
> exception to this is when the audience's domain is programming.
Why does it have to be an either-or? Writers tend to be inbetween
the audience and the programmers, so a knowledge of both domains is
As for irrelevant knowledge, I'd suggest that there's no such thing
(with the possible exception of heraldry, to paraphase Samuel
Johnson). Personally, I find that I write a better end-user manual
when I'm not working at the limits of my knowledge. If I know more
than the audience needs to know, I can judge the audience more
Anyway, the chance to learn new things is one of tech-writing's
chief appeals to me. If I can learn without missing my deadline,
I'll do it.
> That said, I agree that developers are more likely to respect you if you
> have a clue about what they're doing. I just don't think it's fair or
Fair? Logical? Since when do either of these things have any
relevance to dealing with people? :-)
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7189 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com
"In inclement weather, the people are fey,
With three thousand year old stories as the night slips away,
Remembering, Fingol feels not far away,
The giant will rise with the moon."
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