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:Re: Sam Clemens is dead From:mpriestley -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM Date:Wed, 5 Oct 1994 13:03:01 EDT
Bonni Graham writes:
>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
From what I've heard, people (generally) want reference material online,
and introductory/user guide/conceptual information in hardcopy. Note,
however, that this is a change from a few years back, when people wanted
everything hardcopy, and didn't care about online. Nowadays people
have split the duties of the two media. I view the current split as a
necessary half-way point, in the evolution from hardcopy to online. I
wouldn't depend on readers' expectations staying static; they evolve with
experience and exposure to new media.
>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.
I don't see how this follows. This is an argument for always having
"average knowledgeable office mates", not an argument for having paper.
Personal instruction is definitely superior to online help. This does
nothing to invalidate my belief that online help is superior to paper.
mpriestley -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com
Disclaimer: speaking on my own behalf, not IBM's