Re[2]: online vs. paper

Subject: Re[2]: online vs. paper
From: "Arlen P. Walker" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 1994 12:26:00 -0500

Where the heck did I say "only"??? I even explicitly said that user's
guide type stuff should be available hardcopy (though of course you
deleted that part of my post when you replied).

Actually, I didn't attribute the idea of "only online" to you, Mike. Although I
used your post as a jumping-off point, the topic I was addressing was the
statement which began this thread (and which I thought was still germane, though
you apparently do not) "Paper documentation is dead." Obviously, if something is
dead, it shouldn't be used, and I was naming circumstances under which on-line
documentation is not satisfactory. I jumped off from your post mainly to extend
what you said against the idea that paper docs are useless. Geez, put the rocks
down, guy. Since I didn't disagree with what you said (that, at least, you seem
to have understood) there's no reason to sneer at me so hard. Save the hostility
for when I *am* arguing with you; it's more fun, then. ;{>}

You quite evidently prefer on-line to paper. Having experience mainly with
Microsoft's on-line help, I have to say I prefer paper, as their on-line stuff
is practically useless. (I remember one feature that was in Word 5 that was only
documented in the paper for Word 4. It wasn't in Word 4 on-line, and wasn't in *
either* place in Word 5.)

Perhaps your working habits are entirely different from mine, Arlen. But
I personally get _royally_ P.O.'ed if I have to hunt down a paper manual
in the jungle that is my office (me? messy?), when there could be a
hypertext jump right there in my help screen that would take me to what I
want to know (this is explicitly what I suggested in my previous note).

They are, Mike. And ours are probably both different from LaVonna's. And I
won't suggest any method is superior. But you are, by insisting that everything
belongs on-line and a limited subset belongs off-line. I'd like to suggest
something radical: that the paper documentation contain a description of
everything the SW can do. Since walking you through the details of a task is
sometimes easier on-line, let the on-line help contain that in addition. But
give me enough information to understand the task in the paper doc set, well

And if I ever found a piece of SW that would give me that hypertext jump to
what particular wierd key-combo I have to use to search for a particular non-
printing ASCII character which has crept into a file I'd probably use it. But I
haven't seen one.

I hope I've clarified my position,


Have fun,

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.

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