Re: Reading a draft "for cont...

Subject: Re: Reading a draft "for cont...
From: Ron Miller <RSMH -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 1995 09:17:08 -0500

I've been following this thread regarding developer reviews, and I think most
people are missing the point.

When I pass a draft to the development team, the manual is often in progress.
I am ofen under pressure to get a draft together, so it can go out for Beta,
or because the marketing people feel that the product has to go out quickly.
Consequently, I end up rushing a draft to the technical experts so they can
be certain I understand the underlying technical aspects of the product.
While I don't begrudge them the right to review the manual for other areas, I
feel that this is my job, and I will pick up those kinds of errors in future
iterations. In the interest of time and division of labor, I am asking them
to review for content, and let the writers worry about making it neat and

As far as technical writers commenting on the interface or how the software
works, I often make these contributions, and I don't see it as stepping on
developer's territory. Many times the development people just don't put
themselves in the place of the average user. As a technical writer, I see
that as part of my job. In the process of communicating the procedures to the
user, certain things just pop out at me, and I compile these suggestions and
send them to the developer. As one writer suggested, it's the responsible
thing to do.

I honestly think this entire discussion is getting much too confrontational
and divisive. Developers and documentation people have to work hand in glove,
and should try to find a way to work together, while respecting each others
area of expertise.

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