Re: another twist for instructions

Subject: Re: another twist for instructions
From: "Dave Whelan" <dwhelan -at- qnx -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 13:00:01 -0500

Mike writes:
> Over the years, I've seen several software manuals that
had a section
> right at the beginning called something like "Read This If
You Don't Read
> Manuals." It usually contained the essentials, boiled down
for people who
> want to learn by trial and error instead of reading. I've
always wanted
> to include a section like that in my own docs, but haven't
been certain
> enough of its usefulness in my projects to take the

Multi-level information can be useful throughout a book,
especially if you are trying to reach users with a wide
range of expertise. For many procedures, experts might
breeze through using one-liners, less advanced users might
need a bit more background, and novices might need
tutorials. It's easy to serve the needs of a range of users
in online docs, because anything unnecessary can be hidden
unless requested; it's not so easy when you're trying to do
it in one paper doc though.

Dave Whelan.


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