Re: Flow Charting and Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Flow Charting and Technical Writers
From: JIMCHEVAL -at- AOL -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 11:29:09 EST

In a message dated 98-02-04 07:53:32 EST, acciari -at- ACSU -dot- BUFFALO -dot- EDU writes:

<< our engineers are responsible for creating flow charts of the
program. In the past, we had an engineer who tried to pass this off to me
(the tech writer), and we ended up wasting a lot of time because he kept
missing important steps in his program design.
This sums up an important reason not to depend on the technical staff for any

They use documentation as a kind of shorthand, tending to write down what's
new or conceptual and assuming the rest is 'understood'. For someone who's
trying to think fast and move to implementing the ideas they're outlining,
this is perfectly legitimate. Giving each, already habitual, step is wasted
overhead for their purposes.

Even those of us who write documentation are tempted at times to say "Oh I
don't need to be specific about that - they'll know what that means." But of
course that's a much more dangerous assumption with a general audience. And
the tedious necessity to make sure all routes are explained is one reason our
profession even exists.

Jim Chevallier
Los Angeles
Visit Chez Jim: Jim Chevallier's Home Page -

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