Re: Expectations (possible rant - it IS Friday!)

Subject: Re: Expectations (possible rant - it IS Friday!)
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 10:05:10 -0800

I said a *usable* product document, not an excellent one
or even a good one. And "enough time" is often more time than is available before the product has to ship. All you need to do to see my point is look at the nearest shareware program, the documentation for which is usually written by the program's creator, who knows the program inside out and wasn't working to any hard deadline. The instructions for these are usually horribly written, but still sufficiently usable to enable you to work with the program.

Project management skills are not a substitute for writing
skills, they are required *in addition to them* for successful
technical writing.

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message ----- From: <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>

I disagree with this on two grounds:

- I doubt that anybody could produce a reasonably usable
product document without knowledge of users and tasks.

- Few writers, even good ones, can write outside their own
style. Technical writers need to adjust their style to
the audience and the type of material.

(It's the difference between, say, Jim Carrey, who always
and only portrays Jim Carrey, and Anthony Hopkins.)

Working to the development schedule and planning are necessary
but not sufficient attributes for successful tech writing.

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