listowner's rant

Subject: listowner's rant
From: Miki Magyar <MDM0857 -at- MCDATA -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 12:28:10 -0700

Dear Eric, Wonderful Listowner, Paragon of Moderation, <etc.,etc.>,

While I agree wholeheartedly that "It's Good Documentation, Stupid!", I would also like to point out that 'the devil is in the details'. <Cliches at 20 paces, Sir!)

We have the luxury of hitting the Delete button to ignore the umpteenth query that should have been answered by a run to the dictionary or archives - you don't. But the queries are important. It's not enough to say "write good, not bad, documentation". The trick, and the distinction between good and mediocre, lies in the how-to-do-it details. In a classroom I can show examples of excellent and awful, and help the students learn to see and articulate the differences, thus learning how to do it right. This is only partly a classroom, but that function is very important to a lot of us, both as learners and teachers.

I don't think you intended to discourage intelligent queries. I'd suggest a convention that any query be prefaced with a description of what the poster has done so far to try and answer. I have no problem with such posts, even if the answer is 'obvious' to me. And it's a convention I'm willing to live with.

While it would be wonderful if every post could contribute to the uplifting of The Group, remember that The Group is still just a bunch of individuals, and a very motley crew we are.

Happy Solstice and best wishes for the new year - Blessed be
mikim -at- ieee -dot- org

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