Field definitions?

Subject: Field definitions?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 14:22:00 -0400


Emily Allen wondered: <<I'm just curious about how people document fields that are not used within procedures.>>

If the fields are there, aren't they intended to be used? <g>

The longer and more interesting answer is that it depends on what you're documenting. If you're producing purely procedural information ("follow steps 1-3 to print a single copy of your document without changing any of the options"), then any fields not used in those steps are obviously irrelevant to the task and can be omitted. If you're producing pure reference material ("everything you ever wanted to know about the print dialog"), you obviously have to document everything.

What about if you're producing something in between the two? Then you document only the key fields in a procedural part, but document all other fields in an "additional options" section under the main topic ("printing"). This way, those who just want the main procedure (e.g., printing) get that in an efficient, minimalist dose, but those who want details (e.g., halftone options) have them available without having to hunt down the reference material in another topic.

--Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)


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References:
Field definitions: From: Allen, Emily

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