Re: 'Old fashioned' Tech Writers

Subject: Re: 'Old fashioned' Tech Writers
From: "T.W. Smith" <techwordsmith -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 09:38:07 -0400

The idea of not documenting everything in software tech writing is an
interesting one.

Does every Cancel button need to be documented?

Do features that 99% of the users won't use, and thus that 99.9% of
the users will never look up, need documenting?

Good questions.

As for old-fashioned technical writing, from the post, it seems that
this old-fashioned tech writing is really more about jumping through
red tape and staving off lawsuits than it is about providing user
assistance. No?

(Lawyers are in a great position. Since most of our legislators (USA)
are lawyers, they get to write laws with loopholes that they can then
exploit to earn wealth; nice gig, eh?)

On Fri, 9 Jul 2004 06:26:25 -0700 (PDT), Leo Hill <leochill -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
> With some amusement I have read the thread about how
> the TW profession is going to go through (endure?) a
> massive change.
> Additionally, how there are companies that now believe
> that 'not all features have to be documented' and
> there is no need for a manual because no one reads
> them anyway.


> With FDA oversight and having to meet both FDA and EU
> guidelines, our written manuals are not only read by
> the care provider but are scrutinized by lawyers for
> any inconsistency to try and ensure that we provide
> every conceivable warning for use. Colons, commas and
> other punctuation can mean the difference between
> winning and losing a lawsuit.


Remember, this is online. Take everything with a mine of salt and a grin.


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'Old fashioned' Tech Writers: From: Leo Hill

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