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<Nobody has ever learned FrameMaker4 or Word6 or Photoshop3 or any other
<major package by reading the paper documentation supplied with it.
Not true! When my husband's office got a a fancy new plotter, the CAD
guys asked him how come he knew so much about how to use the thing--it was
mostly THEIR plotter, but Greg uses it too.
His reply was simple: "I read the manual".
He also knows neat things about Windows that I would never have known. One
night I was kinda teasing him for reading his Windows manual in bed. He
pointed out that I should be the _last_ person to discourage the reading of
Another point on this subject, and something for those of us who document
software products to consider:
If no one is reading hard copy before/during/after software use, why is there
such a HUGE market for non-vendor user guides? Maybe nobody is reading the
documentation that comes with the product. I know plenty of people who opt
for reading these user-centered, task-oriented books instead of reference-
style, product/function oriented product documentation.
(Oh, and before anyone else points it out, I know that lots of people don't
HAVE the product doc.--thanks to pirating, but I don't think that's the only
reason these books sell so well.)
One final remark: Visual Basic is _very_ complex, even for experienced
programmers, and the guy I know who's learning it clutches his "Visual Basic
Bible" (1,000s of page long) tightly to his chest wherever he goes.
This shouldn't be construed as an anti-online doc. stance. It's not. They just
both have their place until we get our "Sony Bookman"s and take them to
the park to read.