Re: Documents Before Products

Subject: Re: Documents Before Products
From: "Wayne J. Douglass" <wayned -at- VERITY -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 09:43:34 -0800

At 10:42 PM 3/13/97 +0530, Guru wrote:

>In one product for which I wrote a user manual for an Indian Company in
>America, I did the same technique. One particular function was
>simultaneously being developed and documented. Poor me did not understand
>what the programmer had said. I wrote with a little bit of imagination.
>To my surprise the director talked to me a few days later and said that
>they had decided to follow the user interface which I had described.

I once joined a company shortly after the release of a major hardware
system. Because we were short of space, I shared an office with two other
writers and witnessed a meeting with some diagnostic programmers. It seems
that one of the writers couldn't get information about how certain
diagnostics were going to be implemented. Knowing that there wasn't enough
memory in the diagnostic processor for this particular diagnostic to run, he
speculated that the only way to accomplish these tests was through DEBUG. He
wrote it that way, and the manual breezed through review cycles with no
comment. In the meeting I witnessed, the diagnostic programmers were
consulting with the writer so that their code would conform to what he had
written in the released manual.

--Wayne Douglass

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