Re: User Guide or User Manual

Subject: Re: User Guide or User Manual
From: <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: Steven Jong <SteveFJong -at- comcast -dot- net>, TECHWR-L Digest <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 8:36:46 -0500

Steven Jong writes:
> I agree. Further, I cannot recall ever seeing a product with both a
> User's Guide and a User Manual in its documentation set
> simultaneously--only one and later the other, and then only by accident.

I agree more with this view than with my original "don't drop it on your foot" remark. The User Manual (usually called the Reference Manual) has now been replaced with:

1) Systems designed well enough that the ordinary user needs no manual at all;
2) Help files, web pages, PDFs or wikis that cover all the material that anyone would ever want to know (and more) with little danger to the pedal extremities.

Glancing at the first page of a Google search for "user manual" reveals several items with that name, but all are on line. There is no hint of giant amounts of thinly sliced dead tree.

There are 7.3 million Google hits for "user manual" and 7.8 for "reference manual". The combination of the two in one search yields fewer than 400,000.


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