TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Pure Opinion: Tags and "Humanizing" From:Daniel Strychalski <dski -at- CAMEONET -dot- CAMEO -dot- COM -dot- TW> Date:Wed, 30 Aug 1995 10:06:40 +0800
This from Rick Waugh (rick_waugh -at- mindlink -dot- net):
Using text editors to create HTML tags will be history within
months. All WP software uses tags in one form or another.
They all hide them.
Only the ones that let you see them when you want to are worth using.
As soon as WYSIWYG tools are available, who is going to look
at HTML tags?
I am. Knowing and understanding all the tags and codes is part of our craft --
just as a musician must be able to "hear" the music just by looking at a score.
Also, if you want WYSIWYG you have to support a monopoly. It's that simple.
I see that "humanized" is starting to replace "user-friendly." Point-and-click
never seemed friendly or human to me; human beings communicate using spoken or
written words, not by poking things and shoving pictures around. Of course, you
have to know the language -- but anyone can learn the language of dumb
machines. That language would be even easier to learn if it could be taken out
of the hands of arrogant engineers ("I used to tell my relatives to stay away
from computers because computers were too hard" -- William H. Gates III).
That's where efforts at "humanizing" need to be directed.
Finally, I see from other recent messages that there are still people with
computerphobia. So much for point-and-click: it is no friendlier to the
uninitiated than Unix "help," it eats up resources that could be put to better
use, and it puts unacceptable limitations on what anyone with a modicum of
computer knowledge can do. It is a straitjacket for the mind.