Re: Preferences versus defaults

Subject: Re: Preferences versus defaults
From: Laura Lemay <lemay -at- lauralemay -dot- com>
To: Susan W Gallagher <susanwg -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2007 14:46:34 -0700

Susan W Gallagher wrote:
> When you first install software, any options that the application offers are
> set to arbitrary values and these are the _default_. If the user does
> nothing, the software operates perfectly well using the default values.

That's true of desktop applications on individual machines, where there
is one install and one user.

But for server- or web-based applications it is entirely possible (and,
in fact, very common) for there to be BOTH installation defaults (what
you get initially when the software is installed) AND site defaults
(what the administrator sets the defaults to be). When the user starts
the application for the first time, they get the current *site* defaults
and can change them from there.

If you're writing documentation for the application administrator
(versus the end user), then writing a task that refers to changing the
defaults makes sense in that context.

I'm not sure if this is Debra's actual problem, though.


Laura Lemay Killer of Trees lemay % lemay %


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Preferences versus defaults: From: Debra Graham
Re: Preferences versus defaults: From: Susan W Gallagher

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