Re: What about minimalism?

Subject: Re: What about minimalism?
From: Mike Dannenberg <dannenbe -at- TNDS05 -dot- TELE -dot- NOKIA -dot- FI>
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 1994 07:20:11 GMT

In article <9410040716 -dot- AA06426 -at- sd -dot- co -dot- il>, Mark Levinson <mark -at- sd -dot- co -dot- il> writes:
> My problem is that I don't have hour upon hour to go exploring. I'll stick
> with what I know because I need to meet a deadline.

> Now, my great ignorance of the tool I spend most of my time using is
> despite the existence of fairly thorough written documentation. I never
> sat down to read it; never had the time. I'm using Word 6 for Windows
> on carry-over familiarity from Word 3 on Mac. The question is, if I'd
> received a minimalist manual, would I have said "Aha, this I can read,"
> and wound up better informed? Certainly not if the people who wrote the
> flashy but nitless-gritless introduction for the latest upgrade had
> written the minimalist manual...

Call me old-fashioned but I think it's pity that few people ever take the
time to sit down and read the manual. I managed to get reslts out of MS-Word
straight away but I found that after having read the manual for the better
of a day I actually understood most of the things that had been going wrong
before and I knew how to do them right.

Perhaps it's just that we have come to believe the marketing bull about ease
of use. A complex product like WfW just can't be picked up as you go along,
you'll alaways have to do some serious RTFM if you want to do anything more
copmlex than write a letter to your granny.

Having said that I do believe that a well-written short introduction may be
useful - I haven't seen one of those yet, though - but it's just no
replacement for the real thing.


Mike Dannenberg | "Beam me up Scotty, there's no
Technical Writer | intelligent life down here!"
Nokia Telecommunications | James T. Kirk
Mike -dot- Dannenberg -at- ntc -dot- nokia -dot- com | (apocryphal)

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