From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 08:09:07 -0800

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>

> Sounds hilarious, but in the example given, the checkbox
> has a label that says "Always create backup copies", and
> the help text someone was proposing was "Creates backup copies."
> My position is that that is not help at all, but just foolishness.

Well, it would be if that was all it said. I stuck in the "yadda yadda"
part because the OP didn't specify what happened if you checked
the box, such as did a dialog come up for the user to specify a
location, autosave interval, etc., or if it was just "creates backup
copies every time you save a file" (which, depending on the app
and its users, might or might not be immediately understood). *If*
all the options are self-explanatory, a simple list of the dialog's
available options should suffice. I was just *trying* to avoid typing
out all of the above, and presumed that "yadda yadda" would be a
clear indication that more details would follow the first three words
as required. But as this exchange illustrates, it can be dangerous to
assume that your reader will understand a short description that
doesn't spell out your intended message to the smallest detail.

Gene Kim-Eng

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