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Geoff made a lot of good points in his post (if you
didn't read it, go back and read it).
I guess the question is how is the rest of the
audience (your programmers) receiving the format?
To answer your initial question, I have total control
(I'm also a lone writer so as long as I agree with
myself...). That being said, if I'm developing a new
format for the developers, I will ask their input. The
database developers are great. I'll check in with them
as I'm developing the layout. They give me good
suggestions (like don't put database table names in a
table with borders because they can't see the
underscores very clearly) and then let me do my thing.
I had one programmer not like the format for an API
guide and pointed me to one he liked. I went and
looked at it (I'm a format junkie-I'll pick up books
just to look at the format). For one thing, the guide
was online and ours is paper so some things would not
work. And it was a totally different type of API. I
felt the format wouldn't work for our documents. The
rest of the programmers loved the layout I did and
thought it was very useful. Given that, I went to my
boss (VP of Development) and told him that this one
developer was asking me to change the layout. He stood
behind me and said I was the expert and to do what I
wanted. My boss has completely mastered the "guide but
not control" method of management. Yeah boss!
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