Word up

Subject: Word up
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 12:36:45 -0800 (PST)

Gah, more Word debates.

People, Word is a perfectly fine tool. Word was designed for maximum
flexibility and not a front-end for your personal obsessions about
documentation management.

What this means is that more people, with wildly different skill sets, can open
and become productive in Word. Hence, some people use Word very skillfully and
as such can knock off great docs very quickly. Some people obsesses and fret
and blame the tool for their inadequacy.

The fact is, Word is just a tool. If you can't produce docs in Word, the
problem is likely you and not Word. Just because the tool does not conform to
your vision of a perfect universal order, does not mean that tool is inherently
flawed and should be taken off the market.

I am reminded of a saying I saw a few weeks ago: "The one consistent factor in
all your dissatisfying relationships is YOU."

Thus, the one consistent factor in all your crappy documents is you.

Furthermore, just because you have a bigger or more expensive tool does not
make you a better writer. I have a friend who spends thousands of dollars a
year on expensive garden and house tools. This guy couldn't pound a nail
straight to save his life. For all his "professional grade" tools, he is still
incompetent when it comes to wielding those tools.

Hence, just because you have a multi-dimensional FrameMaker+GEEIMCOOLML and a
10 megawatt font injector, does not mean you are an accomplished writer. Tools
do not make the man, so to speak.

Accomplished writers have stacks and stacks of quality documentation on the
bookshelf behind them. Accomplished writers can look at complex things and
quickly figure them out. Accomplished writers can produce quality documents in
less than ideal environments.

In other words, accomplished writers know how to use the most powerful
documentation system in the universe: their brains.

Andrew Plato

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