Re: I'm taking my marbles and going home...

Subject: Re: I'm taking my marbles and going home...
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 13:18:59 -0700 (PDT)


<Tuples -at- aol -dot- com> wrote...

> First of all, separate the two. Programing is much different than writing.
> Writing Web content does NOT require programming skills.

Not really. Writing and programming are actually very much a like. A document is
merely a program that is read by a reader, compiled in their brain, and then
(hopefully) executed in work.

The largest difference is that documents and programming use different languages
and have different syntax. But the basic function is very similar. That doesn't
mean its easy to switch between the two.

I don't know Spanish. But I can understand what a Spanish-speaking guy says and
can interpret his words and syntax with some degree of proficiency because I have
listened and learned a little Spanish. Enough that I can function in particular
environments. Uno mas cerveza, Por favor.

Furthermore, good writers are often highly analytical folks who can look at a
problem, break it down into components, and then describe it...which is almost
identical to programming.

> Gang, my view is unpopular. I am just too tired to take up some world
> changing battle. I see a change from writers being writers, to writers being
> experts in everything. This can make it hard for some who are forced into
> wearing a dozen different Stetsons. I fear that time will come when writers
> are hired on their page layout, programming or other skills and the actual
> writing part will be an afterthought.

It already is. Many writers have totally abandoned writing work in favor of
building complex "writing-related" systems to manage data they don't understand.
The overwhelming majority of their time is organizing data. They do virtually no
writing or analysis of the value of that information.

Nobody expects a writer to be an "expert in everything." But, I think there is an
expectation (or there should be) that a writer become immersed in his/her
environment & technologies, such that he/she can write with some degree of
authority. Without some expertise in the content, you can't write authoritative
documentation. All you can do is process other people's text.

Andrew Plato

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