Re: Article: "Living Documentation"

Subject: Re: Article: "Living Documentation"
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 19:57:17 -0800 (PST)

"Barbara Yanez" wrote in message...

> Hi guys
> Link to an interesting article someone sent me today:

This article has a number of questionable assumptions. But the big one is:

"Because I am a technical writer, I understand that inaccuracies are not
necessarily the fault of the writer, or even the editor. "

Inaccuracies are 100% the direct fault of the author(s) and editors. And 99.9%
of the time its because those writers and editors do not understand the
technology they are documenting. Too much of the work is done in a vacuum with
editors who won't "dirty their hands" with technology or writers who
consistently misunderstand how to use the very products they're documenting.

Errors do happen. I just fixed a mistake in a white paper I wrote today. It was
a dumb mistake, but as the author of the document, I am wholly responsible for
that error.

There is nothing wrong with building feedback mechanisms to repair, update, or
correct documentation. And there is nothing new or original with "living"
documentation. Publishers have been putting out revisions of material forever.
But this doesn't change the fact that the people responsible for the content
are solely the writers.

Andrew Plato

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