[TW] Editing comments too h

Subject: [TW] Editing comments too h
From: Tom Neuburger <Tom_Neuburger -at- LTX-TR -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 09:15:32 U

Reply to: [TW] Editing comments too harsh?

> Also: I use purple ink, not red.

Re: this tread--the original question was about
how to make written editorial comments more
palatable to the engineers who get them--

Using "suggest:" as a prefix to comments is a great, uh,
suggestion. Nice idea, Eric.

Another technique I've used in teaching is to make sure
there are -some- positive comments among the negative.
"Nice explanation" or "this is really clear--thanks"
is a good fuzzy to give the hardworking engineer who's
spent the day fighting 7+2 variables in resistant C code.

And sometimes the littlest things matter most.
Try green ink (unless, like Eric, you have a personal
favorite color <g>). Any color with -no- red in it
is a good choice, and green feels positive. It's not
a hot color (like red, and its cousins) and it's associated
with growth (unlike blue, which feels neutral emotionally.

We are much more visually stimulated than most folks
realize. Advertisers understand this. Put a sexy creature
(select gender of choice) next to a shiny car, and people
will want the car. God knows why, but there it is. Green
ink feels good to look at when you're getting pasted
verbally (another teaching discovery), so I use it.

For the same reason, BTW, attractive documents
are inherently more readable. This is the practical
argument -- the one to use with "practical" people --
that documentation should look good. People are more
likely to use it, and stay off the phones to the
company's well-paid, highly capable apps engineers.

Hope this helps,

Tom Neuburger

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