Re: Online/print

Subject: Re: Online/print
From: Richard Sobocinski <"Richard_G_Sobocinski%~WHC207"@CCMAIL.PNL.GOV>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 1994 09:57:00 -0700

Richard Mateosian writes:
"I'm not sure where the analogy
leads, but it's clear that paper software manuals don't have
the capacity to describe every feature and every interaction
of features that manufacturers have stuffed into today's
computer programs. Users are not becoming power users solely
by studying enormous manuals, even if they take them to bed.
Ordinary users are ignoring most of the contents of manuals.
Many successful third-party books ignore or skimp on advanced
features and focus on teaching a few core features

While it may be true that paper manuals don't have the
capacity to describe _every_ feature and interaction, I think
that currently they do provide much more than most online
help systems I've seen. You also may be right in saying that
no one becomes a power user by _solely_ studying the paper
docs, but I'll wager that it's pretty hard to become a power
user _without_ studying the paper docs. For example, I'm not
aware of any wordprocessor online help that thoroughly
explains the details of the resident macro language. The
online help may show you how to _record_ a simple macro, but
you need the paper docs to script functions that can't be
obtained by mimicking keystrokes (like IF, TRUE, FALSE


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