Re: "They don't need no stinkin' documentation..."

Subject: Re: "They don't need no stinkin' documentation..."
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 19:48:21 -0800 (PST)


> Can we get rid of THIS strawman once and for all? It isn't either-or.
> It's develop sufficient skills or collaborate with people with
> complementary skills so that the documents we produce are BOTH chock
> full of solid, usable information AND attractively designed so they are
> inviting to read. You can only fill a barrel to the height of its
> shortest stave.

It isn't a stawman argument and it isn't a balencing act. Its a matter of
priorities. Too many writers put atheistics and format ahead of substance.
Yes, it is preferable to have documentation that looks nice, but never at
the expense of the information.

To invoke Plato's Law (as another TECHWR-L member once described it).

Bad content, bad format = Bad doc
Bad content, good format = Bad doc
Good content, good format = Good doc
Good content, bad format = Marginal doc

I don't care if you're documenting nuclear bombs or the latest Hello Kitty
toy - content should always be priority #1.

This same problem applies to virtually all professions, including
programmers and engineers. People who are more interested in the medium
and the method than the substance.

Andrew Plato

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