TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
>I don't think we're as far apart as you're suggesting, Bruce.
I should probably make clear that the comments in my last letter are not
a direct reply, so much as a spinoff from your comments. My apologies if
I sounded as if I was attributing t you everything I was reacting
against - I certainly didn't mean to.
>What I am saying is that (a) it should be possible to redefine >info structures so that clarity can be achieved without >ugliness;
I think this is the most important point. I hate to sound like a second
rate John Keats, but "Clarity is beauty, beauty clarity" would summarize
the Gill position.
>clarity has to come before beauty.
See above - Gill's contention would probably be that good writing
practice is beauty.
>Just as I would rather issue a manual that's 95% complete than >keep it back for three months while I pursue the other 5%
My take is that deadlines are part of the design constraints. Part of
the aesthetics for tech-writing layout has to be that the design allows
you to write as quickly as possible (one good reason to avoid overly
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
(bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com) (604) 421-7189 http://www.axionet.com/outlawcommunications (Updated December 13)
"If you've written great work, no one can ever take that away from you .
. . . Whatever happens, you always have that. Even if you're the only
one who knows."
--Norman Spinrad, "La Vie Continue"