Re: Assumption of Knowledge

Subject: Re: Assumption of Knowledge
From: Ron Miller <RSMH -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 1995 09:22:05 -0500

glen -at- SOFTINT -dot- COM writes::

"When people didn't understand the product, they wrote crappy documentation.
Period. When people who understand the product write the manual, at least
there is hope."


Your response regrading assumption of knowledge was far too simplistic.

I don't think the writer was suggesting that you have no knowedge of a
subject, but only that there is a positive aspect to a clean view. It enables
the writer to write from the most non-techncial perspective, so s/he can
reach the user who knows nothing. If the intended audience is the completely
non-techncial person, this is a useful.

This is not to suggest, however, that the writer have absolutely no knowledge
of the subject at all. In that case, the end result would be a "crappy
manual," but I think the art of technical writing often involves learning new
subject matter and translating into a readable form for the audience. If the
tech writer can put him/herself in the shoes of the user, than the result
will be a good manual that reaches the least knowledgeable user, but is still
technically accurate.


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