Re: The End Of Technical Writing

Subject: Re: The End Of Technical Writing
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 15:04:22 -0400

bounce-techwr-l-106467 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com wrote on 10/29/2004 02:34:13 PM:
> In any task, there are inputs and outputs. Inputs and
> outputs can be data, or other things such as tooling
> and materials required for manual tasks.

How is a DFD any more efficient than any other method of identifying such
inputs and outputs? How does a DFD force me to identify tools or
materials? how can you claim DFDs are the only tool forcing you to do this
type of analysis when for most tasks there are many other ways to
list/gather required inputs and outputs without producing diagrams of
little use.

How is a DFD of such a situation any more productive than a brainstorming
session coupled with "connecting boxes"? Unless you're working with actual
data or product and trying to map its progress and interaction, DFDs seem
to be little more than just such an exercise.

> Tony Markos responds:

> Data flow diagrams are most definetly applicable for
> people-doing-troubleshooting tasks. SomePossible
> inputs for your example: Reference manual data,
> responses from diagnositic software, existing
> configurations - documented or manually observed.

All of which hasn't really advanced the production of a troubleshooting
task or table one bit. And actually, troubleshooting is one area where a
LOGIC flow chart is what you are trying to produce.

A DFD of the entire system and the various outputs provided by systems and
components might provide clues as to what needs to be included in
troubleshooting, but such information should already be available in table
form for all the various data and physical interfaces and displays.

Guess I just don't have the moxie to compare myself to Einstein, claim I'm
one of the few can work correctly, or have the belief/faith comparable to
some born-again religion.

Oh well,

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer


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Re: The End Of Technical Writing: From: Tony Markos

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