Re: "Linux is now not supported"

Subject: Re: "Linux is now not supported"
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2006 15:25:25 -0800

I have to assume that I, playing myself as the techwriter in this virtual staged scenario, understand how integral Linux support is to this product. The question seems designed to elicit my firefighting response, but my 15 years of documentation work has taught me to temper any impulse to rush major tasks--too much can go wrong with the tools, too much goes unnoticed that needs notice, and I would be assuming inappropriate responsibility by accepting more work than I can reasonably complete in these circumstances. These considerations guide my opinion of how to proceed. I will clarify just how this affects my response.

So, at 4 PM on a critical Friday, with the final build scheduled for tomorrow, I learn that a major change has gone down and my documentation products are now wrong. My response in the first 15 minutes would be to draw my own conclusion (if my role is allowed to provide advice), and be ready to offer it, but my primary response would be to make every effort to contact my manager, pass along the news of the sudden change, and follow whatever instruction I get in reply.

The question doesn't really allow me any wiggle room, else I would assert my expectation that the documentation was frozen, by team agreement, once the final draft was signed off. If this freeze agreement was in its proper place in the question, then I would be with Kevin in adding the change to the release notes, or writing up a concise statement or summary to include in the distribution. As with all frozen docs I own, I would also plan to add the new support to the already-begun list of changes to be included in documentation for the next release.

Gene's rigorous management of scarce tech writing resources is heartening. Cheers :-)

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:

In that case, the writer would be in hot water with me. I don't
expect my writers to be telepathic, but I do expect them to
be members of the development team for projects they're
working on, to attend project team meetings, be up on the
schedules, issues, etc., and to generally be part of "everyone involved." In cases where writer resources have been in short supply (and when are they *not?*) and the rest of the development team has been unwilling to include the writer ("we don't have
anything for you to document yet, go away"), I have gone to the project manager, and in some cases, that manager's manager) to deliver the news that I was reassigning their writer to another project and that I would see who was available to support their project when they were ready.

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message ----- From: "Kevin Amery" <kevindamery -at- gmail -dot- com>

What if instead it's "everyone
involved in the product knew two weeks ago that Linux was out... but
we never bothered to tell the TW until now (and how come you didn't
figure it out telepathically, anyway?)"


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RE: "Linux is now not supported": From: technical writing plus
Re: "Linux is now not supported": From: Joe Malin
Re: "Linux is now not supported": From: Kevin Amery
Re: "Linux is now not supported": From: Gene Kim-Eng

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