RE: Use of Optional in instructions

Subject: RE: Use of Optional in instructions
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 10:39:32 -0400

Combs, Richard noted:

> Robert Lauriston wrote:
>
> > Bruce Combs original example was:
> >
> > "1. Select the Tx Inhibit check box, to block the operator from
> > transmitting audio (optional)."
> >
> > To me, that "1." implies a linear series of steps. There's
> no branch,
> > you check the box or not, then go on to step 2.
>
> Actually, it wasn't my example. But if the word "optional" doesn't
> suggest "choice" to you, just look at your own statement again: "you
> check the box _or_not_, ..." Looks like a branch to me.
>
> Flowchart time (and let's hope it doesn't get reformatted).
>
> |
> |
> V
> ---------------- --------------
> | Block | Yes | Check |
> | transmission |------->| Tx Inhibit |
> | of audio? | | box |
> ---------------- --------------
> | |
> | No |
> | |
> |<---------------------|
> |
> V
> ---------------
> | |
> | [Step2] |
> | |
>


That's a pretty likely scenario.

Even more likely is that the exit path from the "Check Tx Inhibit box" box would point BELOW step 2. In that case, it'd certainly help to have the flow-chart. If you don't have the flow-chart - say, in a bunch (I was going to say "set" or "sequence", but those implied that I knew of such a pre-planned progression...) of small Help topics, then you might not even learn that Step 2 existed (or there might be a different Step 2 for you) if you make a "wrong" decision in the "Check Tx Inhibit", and then in Step 9 the problem with having skipped Step 2 comes roaring in with a (time-consuming, frustrating, deadline-killing) vengeance.

- Kevin


The information contained in this electronic mail transmission
may be privileged and confidential, and therefore, protected
from disclosure. If you have received this communication in
error, please notify us immediately by replying to this
message and deleting it from your computer without copying
or disclosing it.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

---
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/archive%40web.techwr-l.com


To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat


References:
Use of Optional in instructions: From: Bruce Megan (ST-CO/ENG2.2)
RE: Use of Optional in instructions: From: Combs, Richard
RE: Use of Optional in instructions: From: Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)
Re: Use of Optional in instructions: From: Lauren
RE: Use of Optional in instructions: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Re: Use of Optional in instructions: From: Robert Lauriston
RE: Use of Optional in instructions: From: Combs, Richard
Re: Use of Optional in instructions: From: Robert Lauriston
RE: Use of Optional in instructions: From: Combs, Richard

Previous by Author: RE: Use of Optional in instructions
Next by Author: RE: A little respect for "unvalidated"
Previous by Thread: RE: Use of Optional in instructions
Next by Thread: RE: Use of Optional in instructions


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads