Re: USA Today article demands printed documentation

Subject: Re: USA Today article demands printed documentation
From: "Frick, Geri" <Geri -dot- Frick -at- PSS -dot- BOEING -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 12:23:02 -0800

You put your finger on the point exactly (IMHO). What's the purpose? Who's the audience? We've got to remember those things and act on that information. As Garret notices, the article describes cases where someone forgot to pay attention to the goal.

Geri Frick
Technical Communicator
Delivery Systems Certification & Training
The Boeing Company

> ----------
> From: chris[SMTP:caxdj -at- EARTHLINK -dot- NET]
> Reply To: chris
> Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 1999 12:14 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: USA Today article demands printed documentation
> With all due respect to Garret, this is just one guy's opinion. I'm not
> saying he's the only one who holds that opinion, but the article doesn't
> give me anything useful one way or the other in terms of decision
> making.
> While dumping the manuals altogether just to save a few bucks is kind of
> foolhardy, there are some instances in which online documentation in
> leiu of printed doc isn't so bad.
> In my previous job, we included a series of APIs that allowed
> programmers to seemlessly work our product into their product. Our goal
> was to do away with the paper documentation and replace it with an
> HTML-based online solution. I watched how our programmers worked and saw
> that they rarely cracked a manual. Instead they used the online help
> that was integrated into their development tools. They said that the
> design of the tool made the online information more useful than paper.
> And, considering the fact that we had several hundred pages of technical
> reference documentation about the APIs, that would have been a major
> decision.
> So if your goal is to get Aunt Martha up and running on her Windows '95
> computer, a big old bunch of paper documentation probably isn't a bad
> thing. But not everyone is Aunt Martha.
> (Good thing, too. That would make Uncle Harvey a bigamist.)
> --
> Chris Hamilton
> Technical Writer
> Tampa, FL
> caxdj -at- earthlink -dot- net
> From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000==

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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