Re: Mark Baker's next book [was hijacked thread "Re:

Subject: Re: Mark Baker's next book [was hijacked thread "Re:
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "Doug -dot- Grossman -at- sas -dot- com" <Doug -dot- Grossman -at- sas -dot- com>, "Chris Despopoulos" <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 03 May 2017 10:54:21 -0400

On Wed, 03 May 2017 08:43:36 -0400, Chris Despopoulos <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:

Doug asks:What's wrong with being a wordsmith? Wordsmiths have their place in the world, just as any other profession.

Yes they do. But the industry has put a big squeeze on us all. I remember when the dev to writer ratio was supposed to hover around 6 : 1. I'm up to about 35, last I counted.
Look at the history of what we do (in software, anyway). We used to hand copy to a typesetter who produced galleys that were proofed, pasted up, and photographed. (Heck, even that is pretty modern.) Then came desktop publishing. Suddenly we had to know how to lay out a page, and we had to write within that layout. Then came GUIs -- we had to use more art. Thanks to desktop publishing software, we could do it all. Then came online... We had to generate CHMs or HTML. That led us to creating CSS, using javascript, and so on. And now there's XML -- DITA or DocBook, usually.

All this is to get more documentation out of us in less time and for less money.

At a recent but uncompleted job it was only 3:1, but I had to read the mind of two of them, and do the whole job in less than a week while the third one was off site. I did fill in a couple of topics they were missing, but I had no idea what to say about the technical details. Those were contained in inaccessible grey matter.
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RE: Mark Baker's next book [was hijacked thread "Re:: From: Chris Despopoulos

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