Re: Measuring readability

Subject: Re: Measuring readability
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- FS -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 08:49:31 +0800

Ronni Geist <ronni -at- GEISTWRITERS -dot- COM> said:
> You ask, "Still, if it's no use, why bother?"
> I've found that in hardware/software companies (the area I'm most
> familiar with), having a "quick-and-dirty" assessment -- even if it
> isn't precisely accurate -- is better than having no idea whatsoever
> of the readability of the docs. For without any assessment, we tend
> to end up with "Programs written by engineers...for engineers!"

This is true but I do think you need to be careful.

Look at it from the engineers' point of view: they write something,
then this magic formula comes up with a number. If the number is too
high, they get pestered about it. If they change or remove some of
the words, the number gets smaller, they stop getting pestered, and
they can go back to whatever it is they enjoy doing.

The temptation is to focus on the number and not on the real goal,
which is readability.

Stuart Burnfield "Fun, fun, fun
Functional Software Pty Ltd In the sun, sun, sun. . ."
mailto:slb -at- fs -dot- com -dot- au

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