Re: issue #4 - tech.writing survey

Subject: Re: issue #4 - tech.writing survey
From: Alexia Prendergast <alexiap -at- SEAGATESOFTWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 1997 09:33:56 -0400


Here's my $0.02:

Any good experienced technical writer uses style guides, templates,
etc., to keep
their work consistent and to prevent having to reinvent the wheel with
every new
project. Folks on the list here certainly talk about style issues and
refer to style
guides. I can't say that I, personally, know of a technical writer who
does not
use some sort of style guide.

Also, many folks, myself included, do follow well-defined
I think the methodologies used contain certain common elements
(documented in
some of the management books out there) and they also contain certain
that depend on the organization's environment. For example, our doc
process closely follows our software development process because it
makes sense
for us.

The e-mail messages you received certainly don't reflect the reality of
the business
of technical writing. Given the responses of many to your initial
request, I'm assuming
that many people just didn't share their experiences with you -- and
that is skewing
your results.

Alexia Prendergast
Senior Technical Writer
Seagate Software
mailto:alexiap -at- sems -dot- com

>-----Original Message-----
>this part of the recent survey for opinions and comments addresses the
>highly sensitive issue of "style"....
>most of the e-mail received rejected the notion that the manuals
>maintained by an organization should all have the "same look and feel";
>i.e. be organized, presented, formatted, produced, and revised to in a
>consistent manner over the lifetime of the document.
>[AP] ...<snip>
>however, there was not a single mention of a well-defined process or
>methodology for managing the entire publishing process -- one that would
>reliably apply to any application by coordinating the 7 major tasks
>involved with this work, from authoring to revising/auditing the finished
>product sometime into the future.
>[AP] ... <snip>

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