Re: Code Comments, Code Reviews and Tech Writers

Subject: Re: Code Comments, Code Reviews and Tech Writers
From: TechComm Dood <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 11:39:13 -0400

> Thanks, Janet, for the link & tip. As the author/initiator (instantiator?)
> of the thread, I thought I'd report on the decision on how I've been told
> to proceed: I'll take the code comments, use them to write software design
> description sections (along with the software dev team lead), and there
> we'll end--no recursion to the code for cleaner comments so we avoid
> stepping on developers' egos (really...I'm not makin' this stuff up!).

FWIW... That's where we ended the first time around, and the result
was a maintenance nightmare. We've since explained the issues that
surround the process and illustrated where maintenance became
overwhelming, and we "won" full source code access. The main issue is
that no matter how you approach it, it is extremely difficult to track
changes in two sets of differently-evolving documentation sources. You
have to keep an eye on the source comments to see if developers are
making changes, and you then need to manage those changes into your
maintained documentation source. Add multiple developers and multiple
writers and you soon have a Excedrin ad in the making.

As an aside, if your developers' egos are that fragile, then perhaps
they need to embrace therapy instead of shunning collaboration.


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