Redefining Instructions (was "Sam Clemens is dead")

Subject: Redefining Instructions (was "Sam Clemens is dead")
From: doug montalbano <doug_montalbano -at- CC -dot- CHIRON -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 4 Oct 1994 13:03:29 PST

I've been following the discussion (initiated I think by Richard
Mateosian) about which form of documentation will prevail --
paper or online. Because I work in biotechnology and not in
computer software, my eyes are beginning to glaze over.

I don't have any burning convictions about the form of
publication in this area, but some minor themes have emerged
that I'd like to expand upon.

One is that this bone of contention seems to be worried mostly
by you software documenteurs & documenteuses. As Bonni Graham
most clearly points out (although I think Richard too was
trying to make this point), software is now so complex that the
documentation is unreadably large.

Perhaps instead of arguing whether paper or online would be
better, you-all could discuss which parts of the documentation
would be better suited online, and which in paper manuals.
Although not a software writer, I could make a guess that the
most task-oriented instructions would go online and just about
everything else into the 5-foot shelf.

Could we proceed from there? Just a suggestion.

Doug Montalbano
doug_montalbano -at- cc -dot- chiron -dot- com

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