Re: Nonsense

Subject: Re: Nonsense
From: Tina Sansom <kms -at- PLAZA -dot- DS -dot- ADP -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 1994 16:50:37 -0700

> Has anyone ever met a programmer who liked to write error messages?
> Everywhere I worked, it was on the agenda to pass this task over to the
> tech. writers, but this never happened, for a variety of reasons.

> 1. Time--write those error messages fast, cause you don't have time to
> explain it to a writer and the product goes out TODAY.

> 2. Writer brought into process too late, as an after-the-fact and not
> terribly necessary part of the process.

> 3. Software not available for testing by writer (who can then edit the terse
> programese that the developer is obliged to provide) until too late.

> Or, to mimic the phrase about how to make a business a success:

> "There are three impediments to writers writing or editing error
> messages: time, time, and time."

Thought I'd throw my oar in here. I write error messages, because the
programmers aren't allowed to! What a deal. They write cryptic little codes
which refer to specific error contitions in specific places in the application,
and I cross-reference the codes to a file full of error message text that I
write and own. It's been great, because lots of people come to me with
suggestions and ideas and thoughts, who don't like to write. I can take it
all in, but I own the message file as if it were one of my own documents.

It leads to being consulted on user interface design ideas, and a really nice
working relationship where I feel that my skills and ideas are appreciated.

Tina Sansom "You see, it takes all the running you can do, to
kms -at- plaza -dot- ds -dot- adp -dot- com keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere
(503)294-4200 x2326 else, you must run at least twice as fast!"
--Lewis Carroll, _Through the Looking Glass_

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