Re: HUMOR: I Need Help

Subject: Re: HUMOR: I Need Help
From: Jeff Hanvey <techwriter -at- jewahe -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 12:17:21 -0800 (PST)

--- Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>

> wrote:

>However, I would never think of walking into a room filled with 4000 colleagues

>and yell "Hey, could everybody send me an XYZ Guide so I can rip it off and

>claim it as my own. I am too big of a loser to go get it on my own."

Template design can be considered wasted hours when you're trying to finish a project. I say "wasted" because it's time away from actual production. The only reasons to engage in template design is to standardize the design and to avoid these hours of work each time you start a new project.

For this reason, someone coming on list and asking for a template isn't avoiding "doing his job." S/he's asking to make life easier. There's simply no sense in re-inventing the wheel. I'll bet even Mr. Plato recycles templates.

During the first week of my job (most often on the first day), I always ask for the style guide and template for that corporation. Doing that isn't avoiding my job - it's ensuring that my work is consistent with the pre-existing documents. The idea can be extended to the community of writers: if the template exists and works well, why not use it?

Yes, it's quite annoying if you've spent hours upon hours creating this wonderful thing only to have someone else use it and not acknowledge that work. But if it helps people to do their jobs quickly and easily, then there's no problem, so long as they acknowledge the template designer.

>Asking TECHWR-L to send you templates (or pointers to such templates) is

>basically the same. I don't care if people do it, I just think its lame, and

>therefore an open target for criticism and satire.

Why is it lame? Because someone is trying to do their job without having to re-invent the wheel? <sarcasm>God forbid that we actually cooperate with each other and make life easier all around.</satire>

It would seem must more lame if I were forced to recreate a template just because that person over there thought I was trying to avoid doing my job.

>Hey, maybe somebody should start a web site with generic examples of documents

>like API Guides, User Manuals, etc. That way people have somewhere to go for

>that stuff and aren't asking us to do it for them.

That would be an excellent idea. I believe that there are already several out there: adobe and microsoft post templates, and I believe that also posts some...

Jeff Hanvey:

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