Re: Computer instruction in the present tense

Subject: Re: Computer instruction in the present tense
From: Jan Boomsliter <boom -at- CADENCE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 10:21:33 -0700

It's not the tense that's important to me, it's the implied conditional
in the "future tense." When I read that someone or something will,
would, could, should, I want to know when, underwhat conditions will
it, would you, could ....

These are what I call "Nixon paragraphs:" "I would hope that ..."
Makes me want to know when you will start to begin to commence to
perhaps think about possibly doing something.


jb
============================================
When you are writing computer instruction, do you write in the
present tense; for example:


When you press Restart, the system runs a self-test. If the
system fails self-test, the processor does not reboot the
operating system.

vs future tense:

When you press Restart, the system will run a self-test. If
the system fails self-test, the processor will not reboot
the operating system.


I have read that such instruction should be written in the
PRESENT tense. What do you out there in the trenches do, and
why?


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