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: 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