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
tidy.

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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