Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers
From: DURL <durl -at- BUFFNET -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 08:36:10 -0400

I think this assumes too much--for example, that there *is* one
definition of a "good" manual!
A lot of conceptual and background information is a waste of
everybody's time & money and almost guarantees--heck, guarantees--that *no
one* will read it, unless they have a need-to-know the conceptual &
background info. I'd argue that an indepth inclusion of such info makes it
no longer a manual, but a textbook, an entirely different animal.
The engineering firm that provided all the background & conceptual
info about a water treatment plant was going to be thrown off the project
unless they agreed to hire me, as per the client...because they *didn't*
include the "how-to" stuff that the operators needed to know!! (The joke
here was that the client's senior mgmt changed and the thing never got
used anyway!)

Mary Durlak Erie Documentation Inc.
East Aurora, New York (near Buffalo)
durl -at- buffnet -dot- net

On Mon, 11 May 1998, Andrew Plato wrote:

> ... Moreover, a GOOD manual will include a lot of
> conceptual and background information which, again, can only come from the
> mind of a person who can comprehend the inner workings of the item in
> question.

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