RE: When it is right to be wrong?

Subject: RE: When it is right to be wrong?
From: Clifford Manley <EManley -at- Solutionsplus -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 11:06:28 -0600

You have to keep in mind our industry's dirty little secret; If it's
printed, it's wrong. Or even; If it's published, it's wrong! In the
fast-paced world of software development change is never ending, and the
moment a writer stops researching and removes the draft stamp it's out of
date. You can send updates and release notes till you're blue in the
face...the reality is that so few use them fully that the above still

This fact supports the responders here who suggest you get it as good as its
gonna get and let 'er rip. I try to always keep in mind that we are in
business to sell software profitably, and ask myself if document tweaking
leads to that goal. Usually I find that it does not.
Of course, misleading users doesn't either...

Until we come up with some sort of documentation paradigm that allows
instant update our documents will always be "wrong".

See an STC article entitled "Managing Modular Documentation Using a
Database" by Jim Earley for a more complete illumination of that topic.
Sorry I don't have a citation for that article - I printed it a while back
and forgot where it came from, though I know it was on the STC's home site.
eMail me off-list and I will send it to you.

If anyone has object-oriented or modular documentation experience/desire
please let's talk about it! While I am just starting to learn how to do it,
I believe this to be so important to publishing and technical
communication's future that I am dedicating the rest of my career to making
it happen in software development shops (or to finding a better alternative,
whichever comes first!).

Have fun,

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