Re: Online Documentation. New! Improved!

Subject: Re: Online Documentation. New! Improved!
From: David Blyth <dblyth -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 12:56:56 -0700

Robert Plamondon says...

>Many people, though, have fallen for the line that on-line documentation
>is somehow very different -- that the fact that it is on-line changes
>the nature of the information that people need to use the product.

...

>Of course, not everyone falls for this piece of idiocy

Having created several, count me as one of the idiots who believes that
on-line documents are somehow very different. The difference, however,
is not in the information people need so much as in the way the information
must be presented.

> I'm AMAZED at the number of programs in whichI have where the documentation
>has sunk to the duh-level

Sure. And writing it that way is very simple (writing a lousy document
is almost _always_ easy).

One of the things that makes an on-line document different is the difficulty
inherent in presenting highly technical information in a compact hypertext
environment. I'm surprised Robert didn't mention this.

Assuming the on-line author does a good job, then the 'buttons, balloons,
sound bites, pictures, and hyperlinks' make the document different.

Perhaps I'm missing something here...




David (The Man) Blyth
Technical Writer & Web Site Designer
QUALCOMM

The usual disclaimers apply - QUALCOMM isn't that crazy.

Blodo Poa Maximus
-----------------


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