Re: What exactly is minimalist documentation?

Subject: Re: What exactly is minimalist documentation?
From: Carma C Allen <ccallen -at- BECKMAN -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 15:12:42 -0800

The following was offered in response to a question about the definition
and purpose of minimalist documentation:

>Applied to software documentation, the goal of minimalist documentation is
to
>provide just enough information that the user is able to find out just
enough
>crucial information to get by with basic tasks. Enough information is
>provided to allow the user to figure out non-basic tasks on their own. By
>figuring things out on their own, the user learns how to use the software
>better, and has greater retention. In other words, the goal is not to just
>have fewer words, or kill fewer trees, but to enhance usability by
providing
>a minimal safety net over which a user can explore and learn.

Oh, please!! This sounds like my bank telling me that "to serve me
better," it's closing every branch office within miles of my home or
workplace.

The purpose of minimalist documentation is to save money and increase
profits. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but let's be frank about it.

Carma
ccallen -at- beckman -dot- com


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