Re: Concepts (was Technical Writing Tests)

Subject: Re: Concepts (was Technical Writing Tests)
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 08:04:32 -0800 (PST)

"Jan Henning" wrote

> So, once again, it comes down to knowing your audience and giving them
> what they need. Frequently, that will mean at least some conceptual
> framework, but not always.

I agree that there are some audiences that could care less about conceptual
information. However, that does not mean leaving it out is okay. Including
concepts does nothing to hurt the documentation. It can only help.

It also covers both types of readers. People who just want the raw procedures
will probably flip past concepts anyway and seek out the "How to ...."
sections. People who want the conceptual stuff will ignore the procedures and
flip to the "Understanding XYZ" sections. Either way, the inclusion of both is
important. It makes the document MORE accessible, not less. Thus, exclusion of
either makes for less of a document.

However, concept docs are much more difficult to write. They demand intimate
and extensive knowledge of the content. And this factor, I believe, is the
overwhelming reason documentation lacks conceptual information.

Andrew Plato

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