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Subject:Delete this Rant From:Robert Maxey <Bob_Maxey -at- MTN -dot- 3COM -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 3 Feb 1999 13:26:58 -0700
>>See, this proves my point in how Microsoft really believes they now
>>manuals as well. First, this seems unethical. (I want to say illegal,
>>too strong a word although it feels like it's more appropriate.) Can
>>really determine the language and terminology used because they've made
>>program? And, if they can, then maybe they should just have their
>>writers come up with some generic documentation and everyone who's
>>Microsoft Certified software program can sack their technical writers. I
>>sorry for the end users who are going to be using the GUI and stumble on
>>language because it's now Microsoft-speak...how Big Brother of them!!
Come on now, don't take it so personally. I think it is perfectly
acceptable for Microsoft to control how people who are working for them
handle technical writing. Doesn't your company have any standards for their
writers? How dare they impose their will on me, a potential worker bee. I
want to do it MY way, not the company way.
What about all those 25,000 or so magazines out there, all with editors who
offer writer's guidelines. How dare they impose Their way on me, a
potential contributor? Try writing for a magazine and not following their
imposed rules and guidelines.
I think it is acceptable for Microsoft (or others) to insist that anything
that carries their logo meets some basic criteria. The Chicago / New York /
whatever Manuals of Style have been mentioned. The same argument could be
made against them. Where does the New York times come off defining the
style the writer is going to use?
You say you feel sorry for the end user..... Let me ask you if you think
consistency is important with a Windows program. I certainly do, and part
of the reason I can throw away most manuals I get with my software, is
because everything is so consistent from program to program. I can expect
the commands I use most often are in the same places. The right click
action is the same (usually) from program to program. Incidentally, as I
understand it, MS spends a lot of time watching how people use their
software, and it is this consistency that makes it easier to be productive.
Their Rules come from study in usability, and are well thought out.