Re: Gut Reactions to SGML

Subject: Re: Gut Reactions to SGML
From: "William J. Hartzer" <William -dot- Hartzer -at- EMC2-TAO -dot- FISC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 09:33:00 EST

Sue P. Stewart writes:

>Forcing everything to fit the same mold may make the job easier for the
>editor/communicator, but may not best serve the reader/user/customer.

I disagree with you, Sue, in a way: I believe that when writing computer
software documentation, it is best to write in the same environment that the
software that you're writing about runs on. As a technical writer, we are
always striving to "put ourselves in the minds of the reader" to help us
explain/document the product better. What better way to understand where the
reader is coming from than to actually USE the software that you're writing
about. What a novel concept!

I have found more and more nowadays that I am forced to write documentation
about a software product that I have never used myself. I have also found
that the programmers/SME's are tending to write their own doc more and more
(and w e just make it pretty. Is anyone else out there coming across this
trend? I feel more and more that I'm forced to take an SME's notes on a
product and write from notes rather than actually using the product myself.

Bill Hartzer (william -dot- hartzer -at- emc2-tao -dot- fisc -dot- com)
Technical Writer, Fischer International Systems Corporation
Naples, Florida USA

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