Re: Useful and not-so-useful user feedback

Subject: Re: Useful and not-so-useful user feedback
From: "D. Michael McIntyre" <michael -dot- mcintyre -at- rosegardenmusic -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 15:27:43 -0500

On Tuesday 13 February 2007 12:23 pm, Geoff Hart wrote:
> Complicated and fragile processes need to be simplified and made more
> robust. You can't solve those problems (bad design) through
> documentation, and anyone who believes otherwise is a fool. I'm sure
> you'll hear the argument "this is too complex to simplify", but
> that's evidence of poor design skills and ignorance of user behavior
> more often than evidence of a truly insoluble problem.

Wow, this one strikes close to home. I can't disagree with the futility of
trying to solve problems of this nature through documentation, but the corner
of Linuxdom I occupy takes complicated and fragile to mind boggling extremes.
The problems may not be insoluble, but solutions have been incredibly
elusive, and difficult. The whole Linux audio thing is a morass. Linux more
broadly is still a morass.

It's just impossible to predict what kind of environment the reader will have,
unless you limit the documentation very narrowly, and thus narrow its focus
to what you guess is the largest audience, or else develop MIRV
documentation. (Multiple Independently-taRgeted Versions, and you read it
here first folks, I want royalties on that.)

Hopefully she has a more carefully controlled target environment than what I
face trying to write for the whole of Linuxdom as though it were some kind of
cohesive whole, when it assuredly is not.
D. Michael McIntyre

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useful and not-so-useful user feedback: From: Kimberly McClintock
Useful and not-so-useful user feedback: From: Geoff Hart

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