Re: Rewording for programmers [was no subject]

Subject: Re: Rewording for programmers [was no subject]
From: Doug Nickerson <Doug_Nickerson -at- ONSETCOMP -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 09:33:59 -0500

Martin -dot- Lakeland -at- MULTINET -dot- COM -dot- AU,Internet writes:
>Has anyone tried rewriting a document written by programmers (in
>speak) for programmers before?
>(in this case a data transformation tool).
>The existing document I have been given is currently described as a user
>guide but I am wondering if you can write a general user guide for such a
>specific audience. Would a general reference guide be more appropriate -
>if this is the case then how do you reword anything if you dont have the
>technical knowledge as a writer to redwrite the text.
>In other words, is there a technical writer out there who has written a
>manual where they have needed to (or felt that they have needed to be) a
>programmer first? (rather than slowly accumulate knowledge as they go).
>Hope this doesn't sound too confused.

You can't help accumulating knowledy as you go along no matter what you
do. Sounds
like at this point you don't have enough information. What do they want
this document
to do. What's the difference between a Users Guide and a Reference Guide
your mind. Perhaps Users Guide is more 'step by step,' and the
'Reference Guide' is more of an alphabetical list of functions?

As far as rewording anything the programmers have told you, you may have
to get them to clarify what you don't understand. They'll communicate if

BTW, I like how programmers are often alluded to as the 'Great Unwashed'
on this
list :-).

Doug Nickerson
Bourne, MA.
doug_nickerson -at- onsetcomp -dot- com

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