Re: (Against) sneaking your name in

Subject: Re: (Against) sneaking your name in
From: Sally Marquigny <SALLYM -at- MSMAILHQ -dot- NETIMAGE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 1995 12:48:00 PST

Mark L. Levinson, mark -at- sd -dot- co -dot- il wrote:

** Particularly in companies like some I've worked for-- small companies
expensive products to small markets-- the gag may not stay private. The
development engineer whose name is on the screen may pop up a month later
a client site. Using identifiable in-house names in a screen grab (like
using DEMO and TEST as file names, or using joke names such as Q.T. Pye
whatever) is a hint that your product does not exist in the real world
yet, or that you don't know what's out there if it does. If you want
to believe that your product is really usable, the examples should at
seem to portray real-world use.

I try to keep my name out of the manual. True, no customer would
recognize my name, but if I sneak mine in then I'm not in a
position to keep more sensitive names out if other folks feel like
The way I usually come up with a nice fictional cross-section is to use
names of people I've known; for example, I'll use the first name of my best
friend when I was 8 combined with the last name of current neighbor 2 doors
down the street. Or combine my brother-in-law's middle name (as a first
name) with the name of the town I lived in 5 years ago (as a last name).
Fake addresses are easy if you remember any previous addresses you've had
(work or home). Just change the street number or name a little bit, and
it's an apparently valid address, even down to the zip code.

I have a *very* strong opinion against using blatantly fictional/cutesy
examples in any documentation; IMO, it's insulting to the audience, even if
they do get a chuckle out of it at first glance. It's annoying thereafter.

Sally Marquigny Network Imaging Systems
sallym -at- msmailhq -dot- netimage -dot- com Herndon, VA

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