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

Subject: Re: "They don't need no stinkin' documentation..."
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 09:47:40 -0800

Andrew Plato wrote:

Yeah, but the "it depends" argument falls off at a base level. If you
don't have your content ducks in a row, it doesn't matter if you're
documenting pulsars for Stephen Hawking or Pokemon diapers for illiterate
crackheads. The part that truly matters is the information. Everything
else is dressing. It might be important dressing - but it can never
overtake the value of the information.
Contrariwise, you can understand your topic forward, backwards, and sideways, and as seen through the fifth dimension, but if people can't or won't use the content effectively, they might as well not have it. That's why content and design have equal importance to me: they both have to be good if the information is going to be delivered.

I'd make an analogy to movies. Under the auteur theory of movies that's so widespread today, the producer gets all the credit for a movie's success. However, as William Goldman points out, for a movie to work, not only the producer, but also the writers, the actors, the camera crew, and the editors also have to be at their best. Unless all the different parts are coordinated, the whole won't amount to much.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

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