Re: Caring about good writing...
Users most emphatically do *not* "want" to know how to install, configure,This may be a matter of audience and philosophy. If you're writing for developers or for an open source audience, they most emphatically do want to know how to install and configure. I'm not a developer, but I am a user of open source software, and I can assure you that you would annoy me mightily if you did not give me the information to handle things hands-on. I might not have time to use the information, and might never get around to using it, but I still appreciate having the option.
maintain, etc. software or other products. That we continue to require these
things of users simply perpetuates the belief that products, especially
computers and software, are difficult to use. That some continue to insist
that this is what users "want" allows poor design to be perpetuated.
Similarly, although I am aware that a little information about these subjects can be an invasion of your readers' right to know, I believe that, just because these subjects are often described poorly is no reason to keep users ignorant. Naturally, I try to structure things so that those who don't want to be bothered can ignore them. Equally, though, I try to provide for those who do want the information. Moreover, if you organize the information properly, some of those who imagine that they couldn't tackle installation or configuration will be pleasantly surprised; some of the praise I've most highly valued from readers is a variant of, "Gee, I thought this was complicated, but it's really simple."
Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177
"It wants a kiss like whisky
A breath of spring
It want a taste of freedom
It wants everything."
- OysterBand, "My Mouth"
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Caring about good writing...: From: Lucero, Peggy A. NMIMC Contractor
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