RE: About mil/heavy industries documentation standards (long)

Subject: RE: About mil/heavy industries documentation standards (long)
From: <Daniel_Hall -at- trendmicro -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 09:54:47 -0800

As a former user of these types of documents I can say that another factor is probably that the text is the least frequently used part of the documentation. A lot of these documents are used by people who are trained first, and they're only using the documentation as a reference to remind them of various details they might have forgotten.

As an example, when I was working as the armorer for my company in the Army, I never needed the "directions" for doing weapons maintenance ... I needed the exploded diagrams. (Note the spaces around the ellipsis ;->) The only time I was looking at the text was to get the tolerances - torque the barrel nut to 18 ft. lbs. I had spent three intensive weeks learning everything there was to know about taking M-16s apart and putting them back together (to the degree "allowed" for a small unit armorer) and wasn't likely to forget the tasks I did regularly. I just needed to check the numbers.

On a similar note, what would make you more uncomfortable as you're getting on board a 747?

1. You see the person performing pre-flight maintenance on the engine continuously looking down at the directions like some noob who doesn't have a clue as to the difference between the compressor and combustion area.
2. You see the person performing pre-flight maintenance on the engine working steadily as if he knows what he's doing, consulting the manual occasionally.

Hmmmm... is there a third choice? :-)


> When a large organisation (like AECMA, ATA, or any
> other
> civilian/military organisation or body) sets out to
> create a
> specification for the creation, maintenance and
> production of technical
> documentation, why is such an infinitely small
> amount of effort put on
> the part of the spec that defines how technical
> documentation complying
> to this spec should look like when formatted as
> page-oriented output? I
> know - page-oriented output may not have been
> AECMA's first intention
> with the spec (rather IETP &c), but that is the way
> that many industries
> use the spec anyway.

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