RE: Queries on Single Sourcing

Subject: RE: Queries on Single Sourcing
From: "Bill Swallow" <wswallow -at- nycap -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "'Peter Neilson'" <neilson -at- alltel -dot- net>, "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 03:37:33 -0500

Your philosophy is correct but your take on single-sourcing is horrible.
Just because your company failed to successfully single-source does not mean
it cannot be done well. Believe me; you cannot tell a good help system made
by hand from a one made by single-sourcing.

If the help sucks, it's the author's fault, not the process. That is, the
process is only as good as the people defining and following it.

Bill Swallow
wswallow "at" nycap "dot" rr "dot" com

::: -----Original Message-----
::: Philosophically, there should be a substantial difference between
::: the manual and the help file. "Help" should be concise and oriented
::: towards solving a problem. The manual should perhaps be tutorial or
::: comprehensive, or both. The user who gets a portion of the
::: manual as
::: "help" feels like the little girl asking about elephants:
::: "Mommy, please tell me about elephants."
::: "Why don't you go ask your father?"
::: "Mommy, I don't want to know THAT MUCH about elephants!"
::: The last time I worked on help files, we faked them by a kind of
::: single sourcing. The feeling was that the competition had a help
::: system and we did not, but that the effort to make good help was
::: too great. So instead we made a useless "help" that looked good
::: in a bullet list of features, but served no purpose if someone
::: actually tried to use it. I spent two weeks fighting the decision,
::: trying to explain that one week of my time was all that was needed.
::: Then I gave up. Portions of the manual, not my well-crafted help
::: files, were shipped. That company is now long gone, but I'm still
::: around. Does that mean I won?


Re: Queries on Single Sourcing: From: Peter Neilson

Previous by Author: RE: Queries on Single Sourcing
Next by Author: RE: Queries on Single Sourcing
Previous by Thread: Re: Queries on Single Sourcing
Next by Thread: Re: Queries on Single Sourcing

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads