Re: Sam Clemens is dead

Subject: Re: Sam Clemens is dead
From: "Bonni J. Graham" <bgraham -at- ELECTRICITI -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 14:00:01 PST

Richard Mateosian says,
"I believe that there are more significant paths through the software and
more relevant interactions of features than you could possibly include in a
1000-page manual in 9-point

I see the point you're making here, and I agree, but I would like to point
out that that's true of almost any field of study -- and learning a
software program is, functionally, a field of study. No single book on
[insert name of subject area here] is ever going to give you the Whole
Picture of how to use or do anything complex. It's even doubtful that any
combination of books or books and online help will ever be a learning
substitute for experience. I think your supposition that users are
expecting to learn everything there is to know about a product and how to
use it from the manual is false, and that's why I don't think books (real,
paper ones) are going to go away. In my experience, people expect one kind
of information from online help, and quite another from the book, and they
aren't, by and large, willing to give up either one. They're not willing
to change the format in which they're expecting it either. IMO, until
online help is as comprehensive and easy o query as your average
knowledgable office mate, we'll have paper.

Bonni Graham
Manual Labour
Director, Region 8 Conference
bgraham -at- electriciti -dot- com

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