Re: Hacko and process

Subject: Re: Hacko and process
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 10:43:28 -0800 (PST)

--- Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com> wrote:

> Instead, the problem is simply that documentation simply isn't that
> important in the minds of the average non-writer, and expecting that to
> change is unrealistic. In short, the book is largely a fantasy of how
> the workplace would be if a certain type of tech-writer was in charge.

I see this as a typical consumer vs maker problem. The consumers of
documentation (readers) don't really care what it takes to produce that
documentation. The consumer just wants good information.

Similar to movies, potato chips, or cars. Most people don't care how they
are made, they just want the product to work properly (satisfy their
munchies, entertain them, run properly.)

Hackos' book focus an insane amount of energy on the internal workings on
a technical publications group. So much energy, that I kept wondering
while reading her book - when are these people going to have time to
actually write anything?

The other side of this is the "well we have processes and they have been
very valuable to us." Great. But you cannot assume that what works in one
place will work EVERYWHERE. Hacko's book starts off with a really sweeping
assumption that all tech pubs groups will benefit from her ideas. That is
not true.

Each company, product, market, and technology is different and therefore
warrants and demands a different way of generating documentation.

Andrew Plato

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Hacko and process: From: Bruce Byfield

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