Re: What do you call your examples?

Subject: Re: What do you call your examples?
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: Sarah Bouchier <Sarah -dot- Bouchier -at- exony -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2007 12:39:31 -0700

Sarah Bouchier wrote:

> I'm always worried in case I use the
> name of a /real/ company.

So right! And it isn't just a problem with company names, is it? I don't
have a systematic solution for making up company names, but I wish
someone would sponsor a complete set of example names, addresses, phone
numbers, ... I think manuals need realistic examples, and we need to be
free of whatever liability we're exposed to when we create examples.

Once, on a contract for a networking company (a mini-Cisco sort of
company), I was writing their documentation using one of their
e-commerce virtual server addresses as the example for configuring and
testing a router's internet connection. But when the testers read it,
they insisted that any internet-routable IP address in the examples
would become a target for countless pings, probes, masquerades, etc.
They required any documentation to use only non-internet-routable
addresses, which never would have occurred to me, since their products
were internet routers. Someone should donate an internet-routable IP
address so that networking component documentation can be realistic.

I like Peter's idea of using a little wordplay to make names based on
historical names. Phone numbers will always need the 555 exchange (not
valid anywhere in the world). Addresses are a vacant lot in my town,
and business names, ewww, that one is sticky. I tend to go with Acme
Backscratcher Mfg. Feel free to use it :-)

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com


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What do you call your examples?: From: Sarah Bouchier

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