TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Online versus Paper From:"Richard J. Lippincott" <73201 -dot- 2511 -at- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM> Date:Sat, 24 Sep 1994 10:09:10 EDT
Michael Priestly wrote about my on-line experience:
>This isn't terribly fair. Comparing bad online docs with good
>hardcopy docs doesn't tell you anything about the comparative
>value of the two media.
The online docs weren't that bad, when compared to others. But
the problem was the lack of detail. Later in the message, you
asked if I would have still bought the paper manual if I'd found
the specific information I wanted online. Yes, I would have.
Taking off my tech writer hat and putting on my user hat, my
perception is that the book will always contain more data than an
online document. (How many megabytes of hard drive space
would that book take up, anyway?)
>Still a believer in the potential of online,
Potential, yes. But it's not here yet. I said in the message you
responded to that "a hundred years" from now it would be different.
Were in the John Henry era of online, where a strong steel
drivin man can still outpace a machine. It will change, someday.
That someday will be in my lifetime. But for -today-, I believe the
book is the better method.
(Another one of lifes ironies--I'm defending books in a thread that
took off when I posted a badly worded message that suggested I
was -rejecting- paper documents. Perhaps its a good thing I never
entered the diplomatic corps!)
rjlippincott -at- delphi -dot- com