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I agree with maybe 99 % of what she said, software-, computer-, and
Specifically regarding spreading topics across the known universe, I've
always found that extremely aggravating and tried to avoid it. So far as I
can tell, that approach is being fostered and promulgated by online Help
systems and content management software. Correct me if I'm wrong, but most
Help is broken into bits and pieces precisely in the manner she described.
And in my recent experience with content management (i.e., shared topics),
what ends up happening is the same, because the managers and document
designers are attempting to cut down the number of topics. In order to
share, you remove anything specific and redirect people (so they end up
going in circles).
Personally, I'd like to devise a strategy to make the system work better for
the user and management (how's that for positive thinking :-)
Re Geoff's comment--no, all of us don't do top-notch work (at least not all
the time), and sometimes management and/or money issues influence the
quality of documentation, too. But then again, think about the many times
you've seen issues discussed where opinions about best practices appear to
be polar opposites. (that's an exaggeration, but I hope you get my point).
Sign me aggravated at the computer/software industry too, as my old computer
died and I now have to deal with Vista and obtaining new
On 8/16/07, Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca> wrote:
> Milan Davidovic noted: <<Well, someone thinks we suck. Or that some
> of us suck. Scroll down to item #10 here for details: http://
> I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but it's undoubtedly worth
> mentioning that sales of "For Dummies" books and O'Brien's series of
> books (including the "Missing Manuals" series) are in the high
> millions. Clearly, this poster isn't alone in thinking that as a
> profession, we're doing something wrong. I don't doubt that some of
> us do top-notch work, but clearly that can't be said of the
> profession as a whole.
> Part of the problem is that none of us go up to our managers and
> point out that David Pogue is bringing in millions of dollars of
> income for O'Reilly with the Missing Manuals series, and that we
> should be writing those books instead of letting all those profits
> end up in someone else's pockets. (Of course, the downside is that
> they might end up hiring Pogue instead of us. <g>)
> -- Geoff Hart
> ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
> ***Now available*** _Effective onscreen editing_
> Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
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Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
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