Re: Technical Writers Needed for API Doc: Really?

Subject: Re: Technical Writers Needed for API Doc: Really?
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 23:47:02 -0800 (PST)

> All CTOs and most of the programmers I've met till now keep on saying
> only a programmer can produce documentation for programmers. As you can
> imagine, I've tried convincing them by defining more precisely what a
> technical writer is and what it can bring to such projects.

> What's your opinion?
> Any resources and ideas are welcome!

You're CTO is probably working from the assumption that the tech writer
won't contribute any content. API guides are mostly raw information
intended for a very limited audience that is looking for specific
information. API guides don't need to be particularly "friendly." Its
just a matter of getting all the functions, classes, and whatever

One area where you might help is to build an infrastructure for the
programmers to use. API guides are one of the few areas where
database-driven "single sourcing" is very useful. I've built Access
systems for clients to capture all their API information. This is then
merged into a Word doc using some basic queries for quick and easy doc

Whatever the case, you got to remember, programmers are more impressed
with raw ungodly power then niceties. I mean, why else would anybody use
UNIX? :-)

Andrew Plato

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