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:Re: Photographs vs Line Illustrations From:Peter Gold <pgold -at- NETCOM -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 17 May 1996 14:50:16 -0700
I used to be a photographer and agree that a camera, film, light, and
trigger finger light do not make one an expert. It's pretty clear that the
original manual was created with photos just to meet a deadline while the
re-release was done with drawings to make the points more clearly. But
computer drawing tools don't make one an expert any more than the camera
I remember seeing my first technical line drawings in some kind of school
standardized testing situation. There were tools and hardware items and
they seemed strange, being abstractions, not what I was used to seeing
with my eyes. I did catch on early that there was some consistency about
the handling of curves, shadowed areas, intersections, etc. In other
words, there's a syntax to technical drawing, just as there is to
Years later I bought things with instructions, maintenance manuals, etc.,
and found the same kinds of drawings, but some were clearer than others.
It soon became obvious that drawings made with mis-understood or
idiosyncratic syntax was harder to understand than "standard" or "uniform"
syntax. Viewers and readers should not need to spend effort on learning
idiosyncratic stuff. Again, it's the signal-to-noise ratio that's at
issue, whether the medium is words, photographs, or drawings.
__________________peter gold pgold -at- netcom -dot- com__________________
"We shape our tools; thereafter, our tools shape us.
We ape our tools; thereafter, our tools ape us."
________...Marshall McLuhan, based on Ted Carpenter's idea_____
Post Message: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Get Commands: LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU with "help" in body.
Unsubscribe: LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU with "signoff TECHWR-L"
Listowner: ejray -at- ionet -dot- net