RE: Modularization of Documentation

Subject: RE: Modularization of Documentation
From: "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2006 09:38:54 -0400

Hi Tony,

I'll make a valiant effort not to get pulled into the endless debate
over what's "taboo" and what's not. I urge you to do the same.

If you have a better method that no one else in the whole wide world has
written about, it simply makes no sense not to write the book. You don't
know every tech writer in the world -- not to mention every developer,
editor, or manager of tech writers. All you know (all anyone can know)
is what you've been exposed to. Besides, valid and unique methods tend
to create their own markets -- think of the tech writers just starting
out in the U.S., the burgeoning field in India, etc. Many of these new
tech writers will be self-taught, i.e. not "poisoned" or influenced by
those of us who labor under superstition and the "t"-word. (How ironic,
the "t"-word has itself become a "t"-word.)

As an experienced writer with a clear idea of what you want to say, it
couldn't possibly take you so long to write the book that it wouldn't be
worth it. Think about the risk-reward balance here.

On the flip side, if you keep saying that you have a terrific method,
but no one will listen, no one will buy the book, etc., people might
leap to the unfortunate misunderstanding that you're bluffing.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tony Markos
> Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2006 9:26 AM
> To: Dan Goldstein; TECHWR-L
> Subject: RE: Modularization of Documentation
> Dan:
> The key is not saying what the evaluation criteria for
> modularization of documentation is. The key is
> telling people how to create such docs. Not fluff,
> and not "Ya gotta modularize" dictates, but specific
> steps to create modular docs.
> Knowing what I do about what is involved in creating
> such docs, I can very confidently say that no one else
> in the whole wide world has written an adequate book
> on how to modularize docs.
> Why don't I write about it?. Dan, I had a discussion
> on a very similar issue to this with a very well known
> author in the requirements engineering community.
> (People on that listserv are not nearly as defensive.)
> His comment was that I am right-on, but it would
> require a "fundamental upheaval" of peoples thinking.
> He is right - taboo topics would have to be brought
> up!

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