Re: Article: "Living Documentation"

Subject: Re: Article: "Living Documentation"
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2003 14:08:33 -0500

<<The trouble is, you're starting from a different premise than Andrew.
Andrew is assuming that a tech-writer can or should be enough of an
expert that he or she doesn't have to accept developer's information
uncritically. You're assuming a dependency on the developers. Given this
difference, the two of you can hardly help coming to a different conclusion.>>

The space between a writer having 0% responsibility for accuracy and 100%
responsibility is huge. To argue any percentage is plain stupidity.
Accuracy about what? In what situation, under what circumstance?

Even if you are a good writer and know enough of the subject matter to berate
the SME into awe over your knowledge and have them come to you for information,
there will still be situations where the information given to you by the SME
will have to be trusted. Not to mention the times when what was written was
correct and accurate for the time at which it was written.

But in the highly critical, disdainful, pigeon holed, black and white, I am
right the world is wrong world of certain list members such situations NEVER
exist. A rediculous unsuportable generalisation is presented without any room
for interpretation or qualification. When others attempt to qualify it never
ending pathetic meta arguments arise about how many SMEs can dance on the head
of a pin and what the acceptable undefinable gap in knowledge/responsibility
between a fictitious undefined SME and a fictitious undefined writer in a
fictitious undefined domain is.


Eric L. Dunn

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