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

Subject: RE: "They don't need no stinkin' documentation..."
From: "Dugas, Andrew" <ADugas -at- eTranslate -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 09:57:15 -0800

>Too many writers put atheistics and format ahead of substance.


I don't know where Andrew is going with this, but let's keep religious
beliefs (or intentional lack thereof) out of this.



-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Plato [mailto:intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2001 7:48 PM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: "They don't need no stinkin' documentation..."



> 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.
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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