RE: Terminology: the solution

Subject: RE: Terminology: the solution
From: Richard Pineger <r -dot- pineger -at- kudos-idd -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 13:22:09 +0100

Hi, I'm sorry but I didn't get Jennifer's email although I did receive an
email off-list from Steve Hudson. He suggested I use "obsolete" and "to be
phased out" instead. I have promptly followed his suggestion before anyone
else stops me in the corridor and asks "why did you use DEPRECATED?"

So, the final choice was one of convenience for all.

Rich :-)

-----Original Message-----
From: Jane Carnall [mailto:jane -dot- carnall -at- digitalbridges -dot- com]
Sent: 06 February 2002 1:10 pm
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: RE: Terminology

Richard Pineger Wrote:
>I have written an internal Procedure template for a tech writing house
using
>the word DEPRECATED to describe a style that is no longer to be used.
>Some of the authors here did not know the word and feel that the word is
not
>really common usage.

Carey Jennifer (Cry) responded:
>To respond though: My understanding is that DEPRECATED is standard and
valid
>terminology in the programming world. HOWEVER, personally, as a Techwriter
>who is closer to the User end of documentation, in all of my 8 years of
>writing technical documentation, I had never encountered it before that
>thread, nor have I had cause to use it. So, standard and correct - yes.
>Known by all - No.
>Summary: you'll have to decide based on what you know of your audience and
>what they know.

True, but given that deprecated is the term in common use among programmers
(with an obvious inheritance from the original meaning among accountants,
which is by no means the case with all hacker jargon - why cookies, for
example?) isn't it part of our function as techwhirlers to instruct?

I'm fighting a campaign in the Javadoc I'm editing (which I will win <g>
because I get to be final editor, and besides the manager agrees with me) to
have programmers use sentences rather than the one word "deprecated":
"This --- has been deprecated and will be removed in a future release".
"This --- has been deprecated: use the replacement $%&! instead."

Even if the reader happens not to know what "deprecated" means, this gives
them the information they actually need to know, and hopefully next time
they run into it as a single word they'll remember the context and
understand what deprecated means.

HTH, FWIW.

Jane Carnall
The writers all stand around a cauldron chanting and occasionally tossing in
a deprecated rodent.


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