Why manuals?

Subject: Why manuals?
From: Richard Mateosian <srm -at- C2 -dot- ORG>
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 01:15:16 -0700

The paper software manual is dead.

I'd prefer to believe the opposite. User preferences cited on this list just
yesterday seem to say the opposite. But consider these facts:

Nobody has ever learned FrameMaker4 or Word6 or Photoshop3 or any other
major package by reading the paper documentation supplied with it.

The size and complexity of software packages are increasing explosively,
with no end in sight. The technology of paper manuals can't keep up. The
semiconductor and disk memories that support software advances will provide
a medium for increasingly complex user guidance and training.

The technologies that make on-line multimedia user assistance possible are
planting seeds in users' minds. Paper manuals will continue to appeal to
users' nostalgia but won't satisfy their expectations.

Film of the funeral at 11. ...RM

Richard Mateosian Technical Writer in Berkeley CA srm -at- c2 -dot- org

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