RE: tool nonsense (gearing up to be a tech writer)

Subject: RE: tool nonsense (gearing up to be a tech writer)
From: "Dick Margulis" <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 11:21:53 -0400

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
Yabbut ...

Sure. Tech writing is not about tools. Tools are there to help you, not vice versa. 100% agreement from me.

BUT, there is something you CAN learn, in addition to simply operating whatever tool is put in front of you, that will stand you in good stead: an approach to tool use. If you just pound away at the keyboard and make this bit of text bold because it's a heading and that bit of text italic because it's another kind of heading, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Become familiar with the concepts of document structure and document markup. Learn to use paragraph style or whatever kind of tagging metaphor the particular tool supports. That kind of understanding is transferable to any tool, and you will develop a feel for what makes one tool better than another from the point of view of structured document development, content management, single-sourcing, and other underlying processes that will come to make your life either easier or harder, depending on your attitude toward them.

In other words, learn to use whatever tool is put in front of you AS IT IS DESIGNED TO BE USED, rather than just treating it as a necessary evil. Your efforts will be rewarded.

(Just adding my two cents to the thread, not directing this at Sean or Bill.)


From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
Reply-To: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 11:09:35 -0400

>Well said, Bill.
>The job is not about tools, the job is about ability to write, learn,
>interview, and grasp the concepts of what you are documenting. Getting good
>work done is the priority.


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