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I've always found that the best way to approach these situations is through an
informal, face-to-face discussion. Wander to the person's desk with copies of
the relevant pages and say "Hey, got a few minutes to talk about some stuff?"
Then, pull up a chair and show how there are specific problems that you need
to get resolved and how previous reviews didn't address those concerns. In my
own case, I usually use the "Peter Falk as Colombo" persona, expressing how
totally clueless I am and that I need help. It usually works like a charm. Of
course, sometimes the person is in the middle of something and can't be
interrupted and then you just say you'll come back later, so they know that
you're determined to actually get some input from them.
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To: Recipients of TECHWR-L digests <TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
Subject: TECHWR-L Digest - 16 Dec 1998 to 17 Dec 1998
If you get a good, workable answer to this, I'd love to see it. I've dealt
with developers who totally ignore my notes stating that the same parameter
has been named three different ways or there are no examples for 50% of the
functions in this API, while sending me a markup with repeated notations on
the order of: "wrong font" or "shouldn't this column be wider?" What 'ya
"Leona L. Magee-Dupree" wrote:
> I gave a copy of instructions to a developer and the developer ignored the
> instructions and changed the sentences from active to passive. The
> developer tried to edit the documentation. What does a technical writer
> have to do to get feedback about the accuracy of a document and not "tid
> bits" of how to write from someone who does not know how to write? Why do
> developers do this? How should we react?