Acceptable errors

Subject: Acceptable errors
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 1996 08:16:40 -0600

Even with the best writer/editor team in the world, you're
still going to get errors in documentation produced under
deadline pressure. It's a law of nature (the 7th law of
thermodynamics, in case you were wondering). <grin>

As an editor, typos annoy me, but not nearly so much as
incomprehensible writing or factual errors; typos are, by
far, the least serious documentation bugs. Errors of fact
are far more serious, and much more worth finding and
fixing. Users may not notice typos, but they _will_ notice
incomprehensible phrases and outright errors.

Another point: if you're in the software business, aim for
the same standard that the programmers use. If you can end
up with fewer typos and related errors than the number of
bugs the programmers don't catch until during or after the
beta release, you're doing pretty well; if the docs don't
get a beta test, ask the managers to implement one so you
have the same opportunity the programmers get to catch
mistakes. (Of course, if you work for Microsoft, this lax a
standard probably means that you can throw away your spell
checker and your editor and still beat the programmers.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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