Subject: RTFM
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 07:49:49 PST

Joyce Flaherty writes:

>For the record, I have never *plowed through* a manual or manual set
>in my life. I'm a voracious reader, but I read books that describe
>processes conceptually. I know what tasks an application pkg should
>perform. If the how-to is not obvious from the interface, then I go
>to the book. This approach works for me.

This approach works fine if the product in question is something
that you already fully grasp from a conceptual level. It works
less well if the product is innovative in approach (or just plain weird),
or when the tasks to be performed with the product are outside your
normal field of expertise. I have seen people attempt to use Interleaf
as if it were PageMaker, by trying to map PageMaker concepts onto
Interleaf. I've seen people try to use Adobe Illustrator as if it
were MacDraw. I've seen people try to write C code as if it were
BASIC. The results were uniformly dreadful.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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