Re: Minimalism: Opportunity or Menace?

Subject: Re: Minimalism: Opportunity or Menace?
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 13:15:25 -0600

<snip>

>You can turn a hundred gallons of maple sap into a gallon of maple syrup, but
>not by extraction; the process, boiling, is long and slow. Though I believe
>in the minimalist writing process, I worry about having the results
>arbitrarily imposed: "Thou shalt write no more than 50 pages per book." What
>do you think?
>
> -- Steve
>
I think that the minimalist approach/fad (at least applied as you
describe) is to writing what the Scarsdale or Grapefruit diet was to
weight control. It sounds gimmicky and fancy and gains some quick
converts, but what is really needed is control of eating and proper
exercise. Or in the case of documentation, the proven "clear and
concise".

Dictating a minimalist "formula" as a mold to be fit rather than a
target to be approximated sounds to me like "a one size (in this case
very small) fits all - albeit, leaving many readers hungry" solution.
It has its applications. Instructions to operate a pencil sharpener?
It probably would work well here. Instructions to disarm a bomb or
start up a nuclear reactor? I may want some detail of and extrapolation
on the basic concepts before I perform the step-by-step.

Mike Wing
_____________________________________________
| Michael Wing
| Principal Technical Writer
| Infrastructure Technical Information Development
| http://www.ingr.com/iss/products/mapping/
| Intergraph Corporation
| Huntsville, Alabama
| (205) 730-7250
| mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com

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