TECHWR-L Digest - 1 Jul 1995 to 2 Jul 1995

Subject: TECHWR-L Digest - 1 Jul 1995 to 2 Jul 1995
From: Automatic digest processor <LISTSERV -at- VM1 -dot- UCC -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 1995 00:01:06 -0600

There are 8 messages totalling 3135 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. TECHWR-L Digest - 30 Jun 1995 to 1 Jul 1995
2. Comics - when to use
3. CorelDraw List
4. off, off-topic
5. HUMOR: Computer Messages
6. leave it in the locker room
7. Forum 95 Mailing List Open
8. Project scheduling software

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Date: Sun, 2 Jul 1995 00:01:56 -0600
From: Automatic digest processor <LISTSERV -at- VM1 -dot- UCC -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
Subject: TECHWR-L Digest - 30 Jun 1995 to 1 Jul 1995

There are 16 messages totalling 2823 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. TECHWR-L Digest - 29 Jun 1995 to 30 Jun 1995
2. TECHWR-L Digest - 29 Jun (2)
3. Guestimating effort
4. Recomendations for dtp software for windoze
5. Conversion: WP51 to Word 6
6. Motivating Technical Reviewers
7. Resumes wanted for National CD-ROM
8. MUDs and MOOs (2)
9. Where is the place for demo writers?
10. MUDs and MOOs (fwd) (2)
11. Interleaf information
12. Regarding "if" and "when"
13. Motivating Technical

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Date: Sat, 1 Jul 1995 00:03:59 -0600
From: Automatic digest processor <LISTSERV -at- VM1 -dot- UCC -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
Subject: TECHWR-L Digest - 29 Jun 1995 to 30 Jun 1995

There are 66 messages totalling 2395 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Conversion: WP51 to Word 6 (2)
2. if and when... (3)
3. Whatsa dtp? (4)
4. Wordsmith
5. Asterix? Please, not here...
6. The home of the anagram
7. Online Reviews
8. MUDs and MOOs (2)
9. Provocation? Damn straight. (2)
10. why PC keeps coming up
11. Comics (Sources?)
12. Sentence structure (3)
13. Multilingual User Guides
14. Re[3]: Help--Placing photos in HTML
15. What's a dtp?
16. Indexing Tools for Word
17. Multilingual User Guides (a little long)
18. <None>
19. what is dtp? (2)
20. English-Spanish User Guide
21. Project scheduling software (8)
22. Electronic symbols (2)
23. Portfolio contents (2)
24. Project scheduling SW (2)
25. Motivating/awarding co-w
26. "Online diagnostics" (2)
27. Project Scheduling Software (3)
28. FREE SUBSCRIPTION
29. Motivating Technical Reviewers
30. Use "IF" when you mean (or WHEN to use "if")
31. Use of the word 'Diagnostics'
32. Backup to CD
33. Windows now registered TM
34. $$-US-MD-Rockville-Tech Writers-Database Building
35. <No subject given>
36. Guestimating effort
37. Project scheduling quesstimates
38. Project Scheduling Software -Reply
39. Odd Request
40. Tool for Moving AmiPro Docs Online
41. Re[2]: Recomendations for dtp software for windoze
42. Flaming sexism

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 23:05:33 -0600
From: Romay Jean Sitze <rositze -at- NMSU -dot- EDU>
Subject: Re: Conversion: WP51 to Word 6

On Thu, 29 Jun 1995, marianne lambelet wrote:

> Has anyone found a somewhat 'painless' way to convert documents from
> WordPerfect 5.1 to Word 6? Apparently, even though Word 6 claims to
> be able to convert WP 5.1 documents, there are still plenty of
> glitches. Also, some of our documents include complex WordPerfect
> tables.

I've had very little trouble with straight text. However, there is
enough difference in the way tables work in the two programs that I would
expect some difficulty in transfering tables. I'm hoping that perhaps
someone with more extensive experience in this will be able to offer some
more useful ideas as this would be useful to many of us.

RoMay Sitze, rositze -at- nmsu -dot- edu

-----------------------------

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 23:16:42 -0600
From: Romay Jean Sitze <rositze -at- NMSU -dot- EDU>
Subject: Re: if and when...

On Thu, 29 Jun 1995, Pat Madea wrote:

> The following sentences,

> "If a truck is in READY status, it is available for assignment."
> "When a truck is in READY status, it is available for assignment."

> convey different meanings. Or, do they?

I'm sure others will correct me if I'm wrong, but to me, "If" conveys a
slightly greater element of uncertainty than "When". When reading the
two sentences above, I would assume from the first that you might be
making a general statement of possibility, whereas, the second suggests a
more definite condition of probability.

RoMay Sitze, rositze -at- nmsu -dot- edu

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 02:21:37 -0400
From: Jeffrey Pittman <Jpittman49 -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: Whatsa dtp?

I responded to Richard personally, but this deserves a full scale post. Dtp
software is not a fancy word processor. All text should be created in a word
processing application and then imported into a dtp package. The first time
you insert a word into the front of a document and then have to wait while
all the other text repositions itself will convince you not to do your
original text creation in the dtp package.
Good luck,
J.P.

-----------------------------

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 23:39:50 -0700
From: Richard Mateosian <srm -at- C2 -dot- ORG>
Subject: Wordsmith

Try this:

>To: Wordsmith <wsmith -at- wordsmith -dot- org>
>Subject: anagram Techwriter


Or this:

>To: wsmith -at- wordsmith -dot- org
>Subject: Subscribe Your Name

I don't know where the information superhighway anagrams came from, but
probably from something like this. ...RM

Richard Mateosian President, Berkeley STC
Freelance Technical Writer srm -at- c2 -dot- org Review Editor, IEEE Micro

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 10:18:08 IDT
From: Mark Levinson <mark -at- SD -dot- CO -dot- IL>
Subject: Asterix? Please, not here...

anyone in the group ever read Astrix?

** Yes, Asterix was great, and I'm sure there must be another
list where a discussion would be welcome...
mark -at- sd -dot- co -dot- il

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 10:39:34 IDT
From: Mark Levinson <mark -at- SD -dot- CO -dot- IL>
Subject: The home of the anagram

Richard Mateosian recommended:

>To: Wordsmith <wsmith -at- wordsmith -dot- org>
>Subject: anagram Techwriter

Or this:

>To: wsmith -at- wordsmith -dot- org
>Subject: Subscribe Your Name

I believe the latter is a prerequisite for the former.

Or you can reach the same service on WWW at
http://www.wordsmith.org/awad-cgibin/anagram,
where you will also find a few Anagram Fun Facts
and the Anagram Hall of Fame.

Mark Levinson
("Normal Knives")
mark -at- sd -dot- co -dot- il

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 07:49:09 GMT
From: "Jim Snowden, Technical Writer" <writer -at- SAPPHIRE -dot- DEMON -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Subject: Re: Online Reviews

Hi Tommy,

Is the on-line Help a Windows Help file? If so, there is an annotation menu item
in the standard Windows help engine - select Edit / Annotate from the help menu
when displaying a topic. You can then write in a comment. A little paper clip
appears in the topic header to indicate it has annotations.

The annotations are written to a file <helpfile>.ann.

One drawback to this is that Windows automatically deletes the annotation file
whenever you issue a new version of the help file. Or maybe that is an
advantage?....

Another alternative is to use a product called Interactive Help, which lets you
add pop-up dialogs that you can type into to a Help file.

Jim


In your message dated Thursday 29, June 1995 you wrote :
....


> I was just talking with my boss and she was wondering if there is some
> way to manage online document review and editing. Is there some sort
> of software that will lay on top of an online help file to enable
> someone to make comments that can be easily removed after the help
> file is corrected? We are having a problem managing our online
> document review process. Currently, we are printing out the online
> help file and marking a hard copy. This wastes paper, and it is slow
> to print these files. Also, you can't tell where the links are in a
> hard copy.



--
Jim Snowden

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 01:28:32 -0700
From: Steve Wax <stevewx -at- ESKIMO -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: MUDs and MOOs

GOTW writes:
>The MUD is a Multiple Use Document, such as Reference Manual and
>Training Coursebook, and Online Help file.

>The MOO is uncertain. I suspect OO is Object Oriented and M might
>stand for Multimedia. This gives the video and audio objects
>equal treatment with other information objects.

Your ruminations on MOO, ROTFL, newbies, and the state of your window are a
hoot. What was it Mencken once said about making the thing charming being
infinitely more important than making it true? Not a golden precept for tech
writing, but it sure livens up the list. Your fully grizzled art is
downright inspirational. Really. (Meant to express my admiration directly,
but for some reason my posts to you bounce.) Off-Broadway's loss is the
list's gain!

You'll find these senses of MUD and MOO if you spend much time on the Net
(from The Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing, http://wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/):

>Multi-User Dimension

><games> (MUD) (Or Multi-User Domain, originally "Multi-User Dungeon")
A class of multi-player interactive game, accessible via the Internet or a
modem. A MUD is like a real-time chat forum with structure; it has multiple
"locations" like an adventure game and may include combat, traps,
puzzles, magic and a simple economic system. A MUD where characters can
build more structure onto the database that represents the existing world is
sometimes known as a "MUSH". Most MUDs allow you to log in as a guest to
look around before you create your own character.

>Historically, MUDs (and their more recent progeny with names of MU- form)
derive from a hack by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw on the University of
Essex's DEC-10 in 1979. It was a game similar to the classic Colossal Cave
adventure, except that it allowed multiple people to play at the same time
and interact with each other. Descendants of that game still exist today
and are sometimes generically called BartleMUDs. There is a widespread myth
that the name MUD was trademarked to the commercial MUD run by Bartle on
British Telecom (the motto: "You haven't *lived* 'til you've *died* on
MUD!"); however,
this is false - Richard Bartle explicitly placed "MUD" in the PD in 1985. BT
was upset at this, as they had already printed trademark claims on some maps
and posters, which were released and created the myth.

>Students on the European academic networks quickly improved on the MUD
concept, spawning several new MUDs (VAXMUD, AberMUD, LPMUD). Many of these
had associated bulletin-board systems for social interaction. Because these
had an image as "research" they often survived administrative hostility to
BBSs in general. This, together with the fact that Usenet feeds have been
spotty and difficult to get in the UK, made the MUDs major foci of hackish
social interaction there.

>AberMUD and other variants crossed the Atlantic around 1988 and quickly
gained popularity in the US; they became nuclei for large hacker communities
with only loose ties to traditional hackerdom (some observers see parallels
with the growth of Usenet in the early 1980s). The second wave of MUDs
(TinyMUD and variants) tended to emphasise social interaction, puzzles, and
cooperative world-building as opposed to combat and competition. In 1991,
over 50% of MUD sites are of a third major variety, LPMUD, which synthesises
the combat/puzzle aspects of AberMUD and older systems with the
extensibility of TinyMud. The trend toward greater programmability and
flexibility will doubtless continue.

The state of the art in MUD design is still moving very rapidly, with new
simulation designs appearing (seemingly) every month.
There is now a move afoot to deprecate the term MUD itself, as newer designs
exhibit an exploding variety of names corresponding to the different
simulation styles being explored.

>MOO
>MUD object oriented.

We now return you to your local (list) or global (web) multi-user document.
No more MUD slinging now...

steve wax stevewx -at- eskimo -dot- com
-------------------------------------------------------------
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 10:08:52 +0100
From: Bex <rebeccaf -at- COMPNEWS -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Subject: Re: Provocation? Damn straight.

On Thu, 29 Jun 1995, D Gardner wrote:

> > Give Matt room to breathe. I've enjoyed all of his contributions to this
> > list. Even if you disagree with his opinions or ideas, you have to admit
> > that he writes extremely well. More example of good writing principles.
> >
> > If you are a little testy and just want to flame someone, flame me. I bet
> > that I'm faster than anybody on this list at hitting the "D" key. If you
> > don't believe me just load up your keyboard and meet me in the streets of
> > Dodge City (in front of the saloon :)

> I've been browsing thru this list for about a week now and NEVER have
> I seen so many people jump on someone for a comment addressed to
> someone else. If the person it was originally addressed to took

If it's sent to the list it's for anyone to answer. If it was a
private comment it shouldn't have been sent to the list. Comments aimed
at someone personally but sent to the list are the equivalent of brawling
in the street. Why do people do it? (Exhibitionism? To get back at
their parents? To expose their opponent in public? Or because
they're afraid to do it in private in case it gets out of hand and no passers
by jump in to defend them? Whatever the reason, or the correct response,
the other people on the list or on the street certainly have the right to feel
something - even if it is just that they are being used by someone who
doesn't have the nerve to fight their battles in private.

> exception to the comment, then vent your opinions. Otherwise, why
> are you all so quick to take offense at a comment not directed to
> you? That maybe wasn't even meant offensively in the first place?
> Are some of you looking that hard for POSSIBLY offensive comments to
> make an issue about? Lighten up! Not every comment that isn't
> straight as an arrow is meant offensively.

> D


----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Rebecca Filardo, PA Data Design /\ /\
The Bishop's Manor, Howden / o o \ Phone: +44 (0) 1430 432480
N Humberside DN14 7BL > ^ < Fax: +44 (0) 1430 432022

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 11:01:24 +0100
From: Bex <rebeccaf -at- COMPNEWS -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Subject: Re: why PC keeps coming up

On Thu, 29 Jun 1995, Sue McCullough wrote:

> [This message is converted from WPS-PLUS to ASCII]

> Matt Ion, the Soundman wrote:
> >(Soundy is equally bemused at the number of responses to his
> >"time of the month" comment and wonders why people don't have
> >anything better to do than jump after every comment they
> >perceive as non-PC... MUST we get into this again???)

> Dear Soundy:
> I have noticed that whenever the PC issue comes up, you seem to
> be right smack in the middle of it. Could you be bringing it up
> repeatedly on purpose? Are you one of those types who likes to
> stir the pot? Professional victim perhaps? Prove me wrong.
> Stop spouting off about it. Fix your personal problems on your
> own time.

> To other members of the list. This guy is a baiter. For some
> deep psychological reason, he wants to make people, even
> unsuspecting technical writers, mad. Maybe if we stop
> responding, he'll take his ball and go home.

Good answer. I've been weathering out this politically correctness
trying not to join in because it seems like an abuse of
the list - just a lot of unPC people trying to put the case that it is unPC
to be anti-unPC.

But now that I've broken my silence on this (for the second time) I might
as well add my thoughts on the subject :-)

Often, but not always, it is easy to test the intentions of 'unPC'
language by reflecting it back on the user and by observing their
response. Only then can you get an idea of their intentions.

For example, my male colleagues are welcome to call me a 'girl'.
If they are comfortable with me calling them 'boys' then we are all
happy. If an individual complains, then he has openened up the
debate. (Sometimes they say "Why do you call us boys?" to which I
reply "Well, you're not girls are you?" Usually they pause and then
agree, but if they were ever to ask for an in depth discussion about use of
language then of course I'd have the manners to comply.)
The only problem it causes for
me is that I have got so much in the habit of using the word 'boy' that I
forget to use the word 'man' even when it is appropriate.

Similarly with such a word as 'bright'. If someone calls me 'bright', or
'pretty' and I am not sure whether it is a compliment or a kind of
put down or qualification of a compliment then I smile and say "So are
you." (Or if it's not appropriate to answer straight back then I leave
it till I've got an opportunity to refer to their "pretty little head". If
they are flattered by the compliment or accepting of the reference then I
know they meant well. If not, then they know that I know that they did not
mean well and they may get an inkling (sp?) of why being on the receiving end
of something presented as a compliment can feel like a put down.

(Oh, and if anyone pinches your butt, then casually step backwards
onto their toe, whether or not it's their time of the month.)

One of the reasons why comments about 'time of the month' are so out of
line is that they can't be sent back in the exact same form and any
similary crude comment would sound ten times as crude. (Not to mention
the fact that IF the time of the month does change women's behaviour it's
likely that all it does is make them more honest, so saying "Don't listen
to her. It's her time of the month." Is like saying "Don't listen to her
when she's telling the truth."

But getting back to the simpler level
we know that such comments are generally used by people who don't want to
hear what a woman has to say. i.e. If she is 'snitty' with your enemy,
she is wise and sane. If she is 'snitty' with you it's her time of the
month. Very cheap.

Sorry about spellings. No dictionary in this office.

> Sue McCullough
> Sr. Technical Writer
> Glaxo Wellcome, Inc.

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Rebecca Filardo, PA Data Design /\ /\
The Bishop's Manor, Howden / o o \ Phone: +44 (0) 1430 432480
N Humberside DN14 7BL > ^ < Fax: +44 (0) 1430 432022

-----------------------------

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 18:25:16 GMT
From: Nancy Hayes <nancyh -at- PMAFIRE -dot- INEL -dot- GOV>
Subject: Re: Comics (Sources?)

Hi, all,


Someone mentioned having an address for the military "comics".

Could you please email me that information? I accidentally deleted it.

Also, if anyone else has sources for where to get examples of comics used
as tech writing, please send me the information.

Thanks.

Nancy (nancyh -at- pmafire -dot- inel -dot- gov)

PS: Anyone remember the article published in the STC journal a couple of
years back on levels of tech writing? The author(s) compared primers,
high school texts, and college texts to different forms of technical
writing. Their thesis was that the most effective technical writing is
on the primer level--minimum text and maximum graphics.

-----------------------------

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 18:31:45 GMT
From: Nancy Hayes <nancyh -at- PMAFIRE -dot- INEL -dot- GOV>
Subject: Re: Sentence structure

In article <199506261855 -dot- LAA00795 -at- mail -dot- direct -dot- ca>,
Matt Ion <mion -at- direct -dot- ca> wrote:
>On Thu, 22 Jun 1995 16:57:44 PDT you wrote:

>>Well, for one thing, the question has nothing to do with sentence>TO EJECT
FROM
> THE AIRPLANE
>>1. Pull the left-hand lever upward sharply. This will eject the
>> canopy.
>>2. Pull the right-hand lever upward sharply. This will eject you
>> from the airplane.
>3. DO NOT REVERSE THESE STEPS!!!

What the heck. Here's how it's done according to our company guide (and,
No, I don't agree w/ the guide's placement of the conditional; the only
conditional steps allowed are those used with logic operators: IF, THEN,
etc.).

===========================================
WARNING

Reversing the following steps could kill
you.
============================================

1. Eject from the airplane by performing the following steps in the
order given.

1.1 Pull the left-hand lever upward sharply to eject the canopy.

1.2 Pull the right-hand lever upward sharply to eject from the airplane.

Aren't style guides =fun=? *cheap shot*

Nancy (nancyh -at- pmafire -dot- inel -dot- gov)

-----------------------------

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 19:51:52 GMT
From: Nancy Hayes <nancyh -at- PMAFIRE -dot- INEL -dot- GOV>
Subject: Re: Multilingual User Guides

1. I think you're right. It isn't the rest of the world's fault that
the people in shipping can't use a barcoder.

2. The only multi-lingual booklet I've ever had was in about 16.67 cpi.
Since there weren't many directions, it was readable, but it was a little
annoying (mostly because of font size).

3. Is your product something where you can use the "comicbook" approach
and rely more heavily on graphics than on text. If you can use the
graphics, that might cut out the need for multi-lingual texts.

4. Does your company have an email address or could you set up a "home
page" so that people could get the help on-line? Enough people are
getting so they have access to Internet that this might be workable.

Just my .02 worth.

Nancy (nancyh -at- pmafire -dot- inel -dot- gov)

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 07:00:00 -0600
From: "Arlen P. Walker" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: if and when...

I've checked the NYT MoS, the Chicago MoS, Webster's 10th Collegiate,
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, the Oxford American Dictionary, and a
few "writing" books trying to find the easy-to-remember-and-follow
rule of when to use "if" and when to use "when" <if?/when?> I use a
conditional clause.

"If" implies an event may not ever happen. "When" implies the event is
inevitable. If it's possible that a truck may never be "ready", then "If" is the
right word. Otherwise use "When ...."

Have fun,
Arlen

arlen -dot- p -dot- walker -at- jci -dot- com
-----------------------------------------------
In God we trust, all others must supply data
-----------------------------------------------

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 08:41:40 EST
From: burgamw1 <burgamw1 -at- TEOMAIL -dot- JHUAPL -dot- EDU>
Subject: Re[3]: Help--Placing photos in HTML

Arlen said:

In all the scanning I've done, I've *never* found a better tool than Adobe
Photoshop. Period.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
We use Adobe Photoshop in our pubs group as our standard software. We also use
it to convert figures to gif files for Web documents. It works well.

Murrie Burgan, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
murrie -dot- burgan -at- jhuapl -dot- edu

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 07:47:42 CST
From: D Gardner <DGARDNER -at- UWOHALI -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: Whatsa dtp?

> I responded to Richard personally, but this deserves a full scale post. Dtp
> software is not a fancy word processor. All text should be created in a word
> processing application and then imported into a dtp package. The first time
> you insert a word into the front of a document and then have to wait while
> all the other text repositions itself will convince you not to do your
> original text creation in the dtp package.

I don't know what dtp s/w you've been using but Interleaf never did
that! As a matter of fact, it was sometimes easier to create than to
import text.



-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 06:01:19 -0700
From: David Demyan <concord -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: What's a dtp?

You wrote:

>Does anyone have the patience to explain what a dtp is? And why are
>they so special?


Richard, thanks for the softball for me to hit out of the park.
DTP is desktop publishing and more accurately refers to software
that was invented in the mid-1980's to typeset text and graphics
on personal computers. This had not been done before, mainly
because there had not been widespread use of a graphical user
interface (GUI) on PCs. The one on Macintosh computers was
developing, and that is where DTP was born. (Ventura publisher
was available on IBM-clone PCs, but the Gem graphical interface
it was based on was definately not widespread -- a "run-time"
version of it had to be included with Ventura.)

Today's DTP software is very sophisticated and, as predicted,
has supplanted very expensive "high-end" publishing and typesetting
systems previously available only on mainframes. I personally use
it daily to produce all of my technical documentation because I
believe the artful use of page layout principles (using DTP)
enhances their readability.

The more mature Microsoft Windows and Macintosh operating
environments on PCs and Macs have opened up the possibilities for
this sophistication. As the GUI environments develop and become
enhanced, so will the desktop publishing software that runs within
them.

Current favorites among desktop publishers: PageMaker (PC/Mac);
Interleaf (PC/UNIX); Ventura (PC); and FrameMaker (PC/Mac/UNIX).
Microsoft Word, Ami Pro, and WordPerfect do not qualify as desktop
publishing software because they do not support enough typesetting/
layout features.

Hope this answers your question in the way you wanted.

Dave Demyan *** Mendem Concord, Inc.
(908) 753-8500 *** One Mountain Blvd.
concord -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com *** Warren, NJ 07059
FAX: (908) 754-8224

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 08:31:51 CDT
From: Nora Merhar <MERHAR -at- ALENA -dot- BITNET>
Subject: Re: Whatsa dtp?

Jeffrey said

> Dtp
> software is not a fancy word processor. All text should be created in a word
> processing application and then imported into a dtp package. The first time
> you insert a word into the front of a document and then have to wait while
> all the other text repositions itself will convince you not to do your
> original text creation in the dtp package.

Jeffrey, I don't know what DTP you're using, but text creation is no problem
in Interleaf. We never create text in another word processor and import it.

Nora
merhar -at- edsvcs -dot- switch -dot- rockwell -dot- com

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 09:45:15 -0400
From: "Sevigny, Josee" <joseey -at- M3ISYSTEMS -dot- QC -dot- CA>
Subject: Re: Conversion: WP51 to Word 6

>On Thu, 29 Jun 1995, marianne lambelet wrote:

>> Has anyone found a somewhat 'painless' way to convert documents from
>> WordPerfect 5.1 to Word 6? Apparently, even though Word 6 claims to
>> be able to convert WP 5.1 documents, there are still plenty of
>> glitches. Also, some of our documents include complex WordPerfect
>> tables.

Just a suggestion, but why not design a WP macro to convert tables to text
with TAB separators, and another one in Word to convert those back to tables?
\\|//
(o o)
----------oOO--( )--OOo----------
Josee Sevigny Technical Writer
joseey -at- m3isystems -dot- qc -dot- ca
M3i Systems Inc., Longueuil, QC
----------oOO-------OOo----------

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 10:08:34 -0400
From: "Sevigny, Josee" <joseey -at- M3ISYSTEMS -dot- QC -dot- CA>
Subject: Re: Indexing Tools for Word

Sue Heim wrote:
>I agree this is a bit of a work around, but I think it was an easy
>one. Once again, I've no way to compare how long it would take to
>generate an index for the manual (150 page manual, 8 pages of index
>in 2 col/page) by hand versus using the D2H tools.

I don't know how much time D2H would save me, but the Word macro I offered
a couple of days ago saves us a good 2.5 days of work on a 150 page manual.
Where it used to take us 3 days to index, now only takes 2 to 3 hours with
the macro, plus between 1-2 hours to it polish up.
\\|//
(o o)
----------oOO--( )--OOo----------
Josee Sevigny Technical Writer
joseey -at- m3isystems -dot- qc -dot- ca
M3i Systems Inc., Longueuil, QC
----------oOO-------OOo----------

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 06:53:36 MST
From: Beverly Parks <bparks -at- HUACHUCA-EMH1 -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Subject: Re: if and when...

Pat Madea asks-->
I've checked the NYT MoS, the Chicago MoS, Webster's 10th Collegiate,
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, the Oxford American Dictionary, and a
few "writing" books trying to find the easy-to-remember-and-follow
rule of when to use "if" and when to use "when" <if?/when?> I use a
conditional clause.

"If a truck is in READY status, it is available for assignment."
"When a truck is in READY status, it is available for assignment."

...convey different meanings. Or, do they?
======================
I referenced my AHD for this response. It seems to me that when
using "if" you are using it in the sense of the definition "on
condition that." The AHD definitions for "when" all deal with
*time*. However, there is a usage note with "when":

In informal style *when* is often used to mean "a situation
or event in which," [example omitted]. This usage is best
avoided in formal writing.

Your usage of "when" seems to fit with their description of
informal usage, in which case I think you should stick with
"if."

=*= Beverly Parks =*= bparks -at- huachuca-emh1 -dot- army -dot- mil =*=
=*= "Unless otherwise stated, all comments are my own. =*=
=*= I am not representing my employer in any way." =*=

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 08:39:38 MDT
From: Barb Miller <millerb -at- TCPLINK -dot- NREL -dot- GOV>
Subject: Re: Multilingual User Guides (a little long)

Larry asks:

"I'm looking for any information some of you might be able to share about the
pros and cons of combining multiple languages into a consumer product (in this
case, radio pagers) operating instructions manual."

The new TV and VCR I just purchased had multiple languages in its installation
and instruction manuals. It was a little confusing to me thumbing thru because
the illustrations were the same--just the language was different. But once I
found the English instructions, it wasn't bad. Maybe if there was color coding
or something else to differentiate the different sections . . .

It also depends on how large the manual would be when you add the languages. The
ones I had were no more than 32 pages in an 8-1/2 by 11 size.

Barb Miller
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
millerb -at- tcplink -dot- nrel -dot- gov

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 09:49:00 CST
From: "Chubiz, Carol" <CAROLCHU -dot- CNT -at- SMTPSERV -dot- CNT -dot- COM>
Subject: <None>

With regard to P Carman's statement:

< I was curious if any of you have any sort of motivational/award system
< for rewarding your co-workers for the edits they provide.

I'd like to relate my company's methods of rewarding and motivating us to
do good work for one another while maintaining a very positive attitude.
It's one of the best award systems I've ever worked with.

Every six months our company gives each employee two $150 dollar
Certificates of Recognition. In the six-month period, the employee awards
two coworkers with whom he/she has worked with well the certificates.

The qualities that can be checked on the certificate are:

Positive attitude
Putting the customer first
Always putting in that extra effort
Taking the initiative
Coming through every time
Helping me get the job done
Being someone I can rely on
Making it fun
Inspiring me to excel
Daring to do it right
Other + blank line to describe the quality

It's great to be able to give an award to someone who's done a great job
with/for you. It makes you feel as if you have a little power to
influence how people will do a job. It's even greater to get one of the
certificates in the mail. The whole system creates very positive
relationships in these very contentious times.


Carol Chubiz
carol_chubiz -at- cnt -dot- com
Computer Network Technology
Maple Grove MN

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 08:03:32 -0700
From: Bob Morrisette <Robert -dot- Morrisette -at- EBAY -dot- SUN -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: what is dtp?

Jeffrey Pittman <Jpittman49 -at- AOL -dot- COM> said:

>I responded to Richard personally, but this deserves a full scale post. Dtp
>software is not a fancy word processor. All text should be created in a word
>processing application and then imported into a dtp package. The first time
>you insert a word into the front of a document and then have to wait while
>all the other text repositions itself will convince you not to do your
>original text creation in the dtp package.
>Good luck,
>J.P.

-------------------------------------------------------
I don't know about other dtp packages, but the above unqualified
statement is NOT true for FrameMaker. I wonder what dtp makes you
"wait while the other text repositions itself."

Bob Morrisette
writer -at- sabu -dot- EBay -dot- Sun -dot- COM

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 11:00:37 -0400
From: Howard <howardg -at- SAVVY -dot- COM>
Subject: English-Spanish User Guide

Hi, All!

I am working on a user guide for one of our telephone-response
applications. The English document needs a Spanish translation. The
translator knows what she would say in conversation, but wants to be sure
to use the correct technical term. These are the troublesome words:

Touch-Tone: can we use the word _digital_?
Rotary: can we use the word _dial_?
Voice, as in _Voice response_: what is the technical translation for that
phrase?
Beep/click: when documenting these _sounds_, are there different Spanish
onomatopoeic words for these telephone sounds?

Thank you for your help on this one.

--Howard

Technical Writer
"Chaos is nature's way of getting things done." Ancient Tibetan Saying
Computer columnist for _Ohio Valley Computing_
Co-Author of the IDG book _Internet Gizmos for Windows_

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 08:12:24 U
From: Grant Lowe <grant_lowe -at- CPQM -dot- SAIC -dot- COM>
Subject: Project scheduling software

Hi gang.

Now that I'm finally getting settled in my new job, my boss wants me to start
projecting out how long it'll take me to do my documents. I've looked at
Microsoft Schedule, but that seems pretty limited. What other software is
there that I can try out. What I would like is something that breaks out a
task into sub-tasks. I've never done this before, so any info I can get is
very welcome. Thanks!

grant

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 11:37:15 EST
From: Brenda Huettner <bphuettner -at- WSICORP -dot- COM>
Subject: Electronic symbols

Does anyone know of clipart or font sets that include electronic
symbols? I am rewriting a manual that requires wiring diagrams, and
one diagram requires the symbol for a resistor. The problem came up
before I joined the list, and we solved it the first time around by
using a drawing package, getting as close possible to the required
symbol, then shrinking it down and inserting it into the Word
document. If there is a better way, I'm sure someone on this list
will know it.

**********************************************************************
Brenda Huettner
bphuettner -at- wsicorp -dot- com
Technical Writer
WSI Corporation
**********************************************************************

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 12:04:00 -0400
From: Thomas Burgin <Thomas -dot- Burgin -at- MAILPORT -dot- DELTA-AIR -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: Project scheduling software

Message authorized by:
: grant_lowe -at- CPQM -dot- SAIC -dot- COM_at_smtp at MAILPORT

Microsoft Project (that may be overkill) or Fast Track. DateBook
(Aldus) may provide enough for your needs, as well. Check them out and
compare them to your scenario...


______________________________ Reply Separator
_________________________________
Subject: Project scheduling software
Author: TECHWR-L -at- VM1 -dot- ucc -dot- okstate -dot- edu_at_smtp at MAILPORT
Date: 6/30/95 8:12 AM


Comments: To: List Serv <techwr-l -at- vm1 -dot- ucc -dot- okstate -dot- edu>

Hi gang.

Now that I'm finally getting settled in my new job, my boss wants me to
start
projecting out how long it'll take me to do my documents. I've looked at
Microsoft Schedule, but that seems pretty limited. What other software is
there that I can try out. What I would like is something that breaks out a
task into sub-tasks. I've never done this before, so any info I can get is
very welcome. Thanks!

grant

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 09:33:25 -0800
From: Erik Harris <ewh -at- PLAZA -dot- DS -dot- ADP -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: Portfolio contents

Sue Ellen Adkins asks:
>I'm working to put together my first portfolio. I think I need to include
>examples of various types of writing but do I need to include samples from
>various tools? Would it be advisable to do the same document in PageMaker,
>Quark, and FrameMaker?

One thing you might consider is writing a colophon for each piece in your
portfolio. Depending on what kind of box or binder you keep your samples
in, you could have a clear overlay for each piece, with a little piece of
paper listing the date of authorship, the purpose and intended audience for
the document, your total responsibilities for it (original
writing/revision/editing/original design/revised design/proof and
publication/etc.), and the tool(s) used for the major document elements.

e.g.:
"Whirligig Device Customer Support Guide"
Published 7/93 as a Technical Support handbook for the company's line of
whirligig devices, which interface between doodads and third-party
wonderbugs
Responsible for original writing, editing, and print production. Design
based on company standards
Body: FrameMaker 4.0 for Windows
Front and back covers: Aldus Freehand 5.0 for Macintosh

This kind of annotation, when you work it into a portfolio, can make your
samples stand out while the reader skims through them (as you sit with your
Dixie cup of decaf and your pressed suit, studying the reader's office
decor, or whatever).

Enjoy the day.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Erik Harris ewh -at- plaza -dot- ds -dot- adp -dot- com (weekdays)
Obscure quotation goes here! TrinityPlc -at- aol -dot- com (home)

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 09:48:48 -0700
From: Bonni Graham <bonnig -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: what is dtp?

>Jeffrey Pittman <Jpittman49 -at- AOL -dot- COM> said:

>><snip>The first time
>>you insert a word into the front of a document and then have to wait while
>>all the other text repositions itself will convince you not to do your
>>original text creation in the dtp package.
>>Good luck,
>>J.P.

>Bob Morisette added:
>I don't know about other dtp packages, but the above unqualified
>statement is NOT true for FrameMaker. I wonder what dtp makes you
>"wait while the other text repositions itself."

Ventura doesn't do this either. Occasionally I've had to wait a couple
milliseconds while a *page* reconstructs itself, but that's about it...

The other composition package I use, Document Science's CompuSet, doesn't do
this either.

Bonni Graham
Manual Labour

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 09:53:44 -0800
From: Marc Santacroce <santa -at- TFS -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: Sentence structure

At 10:31 AM 6/29/95, Nancy Hayes wrote:
>In article <199506261855 -dot- LAA00795 -at- mail -dot- direct -dot- ca>,
>Matt Ion <mion -at- direct -dot- ca> wrote:
>>On Thu, 22 Jun 1995 16:57:44 PDT you wrote:
>>
>>>Well, for one thing, the question has nothing to do with sentence>TO EJECT
> FROM
>> THE AIRPLANE
>>>1. Pull the left-hand lever upward sharply. This will eject the
>>> canopy.
>>>2. Pull the right-hand lever upward sharply. This will eject you
>>> from the airplane.
>>3. DO NOT REVERSE THESE STEPS!!!

>What the heck. Here's how it's done according to our company guide (and,
>No, I don't agree w/ the guide's placement of the conditional; the only
>conditional steps allowed are those used with logic operators: IF, THEN,
>etc.).

> ===========================================
> WARNING

> Reversing the following steps could kill
> you.
> ============================================

>1. Eject from the airplane by performing the following steps in the
> order given.

> 1.1 Pull the left-hand lever upward sharply to eject the canopy.

> 1.2 Pull the right-hand lever upward sharply to eject from the airplane.

>Aren't style guides =fun=? *cheap shot*

>Nancy (nancyh -at- pmafire -dot- inel -dot- gov)
=======================
Is this anything like "Ready, Fire, Aim"?

=======================

M_a_r_c_ A. _S_a_n_t_a_c_r_o_c_e_________________________
Technical Writer/Trainer TRW Financial Systems, Inc.
300 Lakeside Dr. Oakland, CA 94612-3540
(510) 645-3469 (W) (510) 944-9814 (H)
santa -at- tfs -dot- com (W) santacroce -at- aol -dot- com (H)
santa -at- ccnet -dot- com (H)

"An idiot with a computer is a better, faster idiot!"

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 09:57:16 -0800
From: Marc Santacroce <santa -at- TFS -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: Project scheduling software

At 12:12 AM 6/30/95, Grant Lowe wrote:
>Hi gang.

>Now that I'm finally getting settled in my new job, my boss wants me to start
>projecting out how long it'll take me to do my documents. I've looked at
>Microsoft Schedule, but that seems pretty limited. What other software is
>there that I can try out. What I would like is something that breaks out a
>task into sub-tasks. I've never done this before, so any info I can get is
>very welcome. Thanks!

>grant
=========
I think you'll find that no matter which software you use, your results
will only be as good as your estimate. We are using a high-end ($4,000)
system Primavera, and I guarantee you, that it hasn't improved my guesses a
bit.

=======================

M_a_r_c_ A. _S_a_n_t_a_c_r_o_c_e_________________________
Technical Writer/Trainer TRW Financial Systems, Inc.
300 Lakeside Dr. Oakland, CA 94612-3540
(510) 645-3469 (W) (510) 944-9814 (H)
santa -at- tfs -dot- com (W) santacroce -at- aol -dot- com (H)
santa -at- ccnet -dot- com (H)

"An idiot with a computer is a better, faster idiot!"

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 10:17:16 PDT
From: Richard Dimock <red -at- ELSEGUNDOCA -dot- ATTGIS -dot- COM>
Subject: Project scheduling SW

Grant,

I have used MS Project successfully in managing multiple-
document, multiple-writer projects.

It is not **TOO** hard to learn the basic uses, such as
one writer, tasks and sub-tasks. It gives great charts,
time lines, etc.

Where it gets difficult is using half of Joe and 2/3rds of
Suzie and Sally only on weekends, to do ten different
books. But once you get it figured out, you can see how
the project can actually run.

No big machine requirements. I've run it on my 386 4Meg
notebook.

The larger software stores have it. There are 3rd party
books written on it.

Happy Planning!

Dick Dimock, Artfully Senior Tech Writer
AT&T Global Information Solutions
El Segundo, CA Overlooking the sleek German Shepards along
the LA Airport security fence.

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 11:51:20 -0500
From: Alice Jones <alice_jones -at- MDL -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: Motivating/awarding co-w

Subject: RE>Motivating/awarding co-workers
Hi, all. I sent this message a couple of days ago, but it returned an error so
I'm trying again. (My apologies if you received it the first time and this is a
repeat...)


> PCarman <HARRIS -dot- PCARMAN -at- IC1D -dot- HARRIS -dot- COM> asks:
> I was curious if any of you have any sort of motivational/award system
> for rewarding your co-workers for the edits they provide.

> Laurie Rubin <lmr -at- SYL -dot- NJ -dot- NEC -dot- COM> responds:
> Food is a great incentive to almost anyone!


While not a motivation for everyone or every situation, food works very well
with my SMEs (programmers) too! I had a big problem getting these guys to give
my docs one last thorough "technical review" before a major software release.
So, I booked an afternoon and called them into a conference room. I distributed
the appropriate doc chapters and pizza, pizza, pizza. No-one could leave until
all the docs had been reviewed. (Yes, I had the full cooperation of the VP of
Development.) The programmers liked it because A) they like pizza, B) they like
*free* pizza even better, and C) they like getting the review out of the way.

Another time I distributed review docs two weeks in advance, and told all
reviewers to report to my office at 9 am the morning of the deadline to return
their comments/markups. I tantalized them with promises of a "tasty" surprise
(they remembered the pizza, so they were curious.) I hauled in my toaster oven
and toasted bagels (cream cheese, lox, juice, the works!) I even took pity on
the straggler reviewers and kept the "kitchen" open until lunchtime.

My programmers can't wait for the next tech review to see what I'll come up with
next! :)



Alice Alspach Jones * A computer's attention span
Treasurer, STC Wash., DC Chapter * is as long as its power cord.
Technical Writer *
Silver Spring, MD * Windows: Just another pane
alice_jones -at- microdynamics -dot- mdl -dot- com * in the glass.

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 10:26:00 PST
From: doug montalbano <doug_montalbano -at- CC -dot- CHIRON -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: "Online diagnostics"

Kat has suggested (I paraphrase because I get the List in digest)
that just 'Diagnostics' "seems clear enough" for some med. tech.
software program self-analysis.

Sorry, I disagree. In the medical field, 'diagnostics' has other
meanings than in the computer field. A med. tech. might think a
diagnostic has to do with in-vitro assays of blood or other tissue.
Pick a term that shows (1) it's for the computer software and (2)
it checks for errors in same.

doug_montalbano -at- cc -dot- chiron -dot- com

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 12:27:52 +0000
From: Bladin'Man <nmmaher -at- BETA -dot- LOYNO -dot- EDU>
Subject: Re: Portfolio contents

> One thing you might consider is writing a colophon for each piece in your
> portfolio. Depending on what kind of box or binder you keep your samples
> in, you could have a clear overlay for each piece, with a little piece of
> paper listing the date of authorship, the purpose and intended audience for
> the document, your total responsibilities for it (original
> writing/revision/editing/original design/revised design/proof and
> publication/etc.), and the tool(s) used for the major document elements.

That's a wonderful idea. I'm putting together my portfolio to go on the
interview cycle. I have come up with many binding plans, but that idea is
certainly a professional idea...Thanks


____
/ / Sk8
/ ---- Cool.......
/________/ ----------------------
O O O O Bladnman -at- aol -dot- com

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 10:30:41 -0700
From: Karyl Severson <karyl -at- PLAZA -dot- DS -dot- ADP -dot- COM>
Subject: Project Scheduling Software

Hello, TECHWRLRs -

I don't like sounding like a broken record, but I really think you
may all want to really consider Comtech's PUB$Estimator software,
which runs with Excel on either PCs or Macs.

The reason I keep harpin on this is because Comtech, under the
leadership of JoAnn Hackos, has developed the most accurate ways of
predicting documentation/training project schedules that I've seen.

Among the factors built into the software calculations are:

* Product Stability
* Information Availability
* Availability of Subject Matter Experts
* Review Time
* Writing Experience of Writer(s)
* Technical Experience of Writer(s)
* Audience Awareness

Not only is PUB$Estimator a scheduling tool, but because it depends on
people keeping track of the way time is spent on a project, it also
provides time-tracking and budgeting features.

Comtech has figured out the formulas for us, developed all sorts of
worksheets and reports, and provided many other tools. It comes as
close to being accurate as anything I've seen, plus it's a whole
heck of a lot easier to use than MS Project.

Ultimately, any of these tools are only as effective as the data
that we put into them. And by the way, I have absolutely no affiliation
with Comtech or its employees.

Good luck in planning, budgeting, scheduling, and getting results!

Karyl
--

Karyl Severson
Technical Writer, Product Development
ADP Dealer Services, Portland, OR, USA
*************************************************************************
* This writing business, *
* pencils and what-not. *
* Overrated if you ask me. *
* Eeyore *
*************************************************************************

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 13:43:14 -0400
From: "HOME PAGE PRESS, INC" <OBT -at- HPP -dot- COM>
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This is response one

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 13:02:13 CST
From: D Gardner <DGARDNER -at- UWOHALI -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: Project scheduling software

> I think you'll find that no matter which software you use, your results
> will only be as good as your estimate. We are using a high-end ($4,000)
> system Primavera, and I guarantee you, that it hasn't improved my guesses a
> bit.

OK, how does one geustimate the length of time needed for a doc?
Especially if it's a cdrl and all you have is the cdrl description
from the sow?



-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 14:02:55 EDT
From: Charles Fisher/Datatel <Charles_Fisher -at- DATATEL -dot- COM>
Subject: Motivating Technical Reviewers

I've tried lots of ways to motivate those folks - everything from being strict
and formal (with review sign-off sheets) to food and prizes. The
food and prizes route gets a much better reply, in my experience.

I think the key is that, if you have a problem with reviews, strong-arm tactics
seldom work. Reward systems are much better, but you need to vary the prizes so
they won't get bored with *another* pizza lunch. Also, varying the prize *and*
keeping it a secret works well because folks will complete the review to see
what's in store for them. Alice Jones (Hi Alice!) had some great suggestions in
her earlier post.

Someone (can't remember who) raised objections about offering food or candy as
prizes because of dietary restrictions. I once gave out treats from a goody
bag when someone turned in a review. I filled a big bag with a combination of
fun wind-up toys, candy/PEZ dispensers, and more practical things like cool
pens, notepads, and calendars (basically, I went on a Wal-Mart shopping spree).
I let the lucky reviewers pick their own prize. This one got a great response,
and you can keep this concept going for a while before folks tire of it, with
slight variations in the prizes you offer....


--
Why doesn't DOS ever say, "Excellent filename or command?"

Charles Fisher
Senior Documentation Specialist
Datatel, Inc.
charles -at- datatel -dot- com

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 14:14:15 EDT
From: Mary Wise/MANUGISTICS <manu!manu -dot- com!Mary_Wise -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET>
Subject: Re: Electronic symbols

Brenda asked about electronic symbols...

The Visio business graphics package is a nifty tool that lets you do all kinds
of diagrams and flowcharts. It comes with several stencils, including an
electrical engineering one with a resistor, an adjustable resistor, and a
variable resistor, not to mention inductors, capacitors, inverters, amplifiers,
and so on. You just drag the symbol from the stencil to the drawing.

I'm not sure of the cost, but don't think it's real expensive.

We use it for process flowcharts and lots of other stuff...

Info:

Visio for Business Graphics
Shapeware Corporation
520 Pike Street, Suite 1800
Seattle, WA 98101-4001
206-521-4501

Good luck,
Mary Wise
Mary_Wise -at- manu -dot- com

"See you in the next world (and don't be late)!"

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 11:24:00 PDT
From: John Gear <catalyst -at- PACIFIER -dot- COM>
Subject: Use "IF" when you mean (or WHEN to use "if")

someone asked

>"If a truck is in READY status, it is available for assignment."
>"When a truck is in READY status, it is available for assignment."

>convey different meanings. Or, do they?

>I could use some help. (How about, "If and when a truck is ... " Just
>joking.)

I follow (and teach) this convention for IF and WHEN statements:

Use IF to introduce a conditional phrase when you want the reader to proceed
(skip to the next step) if the condition is not true.

Use WHEN to introduce a conditional phrase when you do not want the reader
to proceed until the condition is satisfied and they take the action in the
step.

Thus

IF the waste is ignitable OR corrosive,

THEN mark the barrels with the appropriate chemical hazard symbols.

(If the waste is neither ignitable or corrosive the reader skips the action
and goes on to the next step. But ...)

WHEN waste has accumulated in a satellite accumulation site for 90 days,

THEN, before the end of the day, transfer the waste to the TSD unit.

(The reader doesn't skip a conditional statement introduced by WHEN--the
process stops until the WHEN condition is satisfied.)

This seems to work pretty well. Hope this helps.
John Gear (catalyst -at- pacifier -dot- com)

The Bill of Rights--The Original Contract with America
Accept no substitutes. Beware of imitations. Insist on the genuine articles.

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 11:31:43 PST
From: doug montalbano <doug_montalbano -at- CC -dot- CHIRON -dot- COM>
Subject: Use of the word 'Diagnostics'

[NOTE: I have received 2 e-mails from the listserver telling me
that this identical mail has already been sent (although I don't
see how -- and I tried only once to send it). The bounce message
suggested that I add some note of explanation at the beginning of
this message. La voici.]

Kat has suggested (I paraphrase because I get the List in digest)
that just 'Diagnostics' "seems clear enough" for some med. tech.
software program self-analysis.

Sorry, I disagree. In the medical field, 'diagnostics' has other
meanings than in the computer field. A med. tech. might think a
diagnostic has to do with in-vitro assays of blood or other tissue.
Pick a term that shows (1) it's for the computer software and
(2) it checks for errors in same.

doug_montalbano -at- cc -dot- chiron -dot- com

-----------------------------

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995 11:45:03 PDT
From: John Renish <John -dot- Renish -at- CONNER -dot- COM>
Subject: Re: "Online diagnostics"

How about "analyzer diagnostics", "machine diagnostics", "computer
diagnostics" or "software diagnostics"? BTW, this old used-to-be med tech
does not find just "diagnostics" particularly confusing in this context, but
Doug's point is well taken in a world where the "tech" might be a
receptionist, poorly-trained and thrust into the position.

John -dot- Renish -at- conner -dot- com
My statements are my own and do not represent Conner Peripherals, Inc.
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