Re: Who dreams up these things?

Subject: Re: Who dreams up these things?
From: Sybille Sterk <sybille -at- wowfabgroovy -dot- net>
To: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 14:38:14 +0100

Dear Tim,

>Once a company sees a successful
>implementation of a process, it's often reluctant to go back to the vague
>method "just write the damned thing", because that's uncontrolled and
>capricious. Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to

I certainly agree with you on that, but haven't had the chance of a
snowball in hell to convince my employer of this truth. If you are not a
"documentation specialist" working for a documentation company, then the
reality is often that people (who don't know anything about writing or
technical documentation) tell you "just write it, the deadline is tomorrow,
so anything will do".

Most people (especially in the software industry) do NOT understand how
important good technical documentation is. They talk about "intuitive
software" and "self-explanatory software" - but it isn't, is it? It needs a
good technical author to explain a complex program and how to use it!

I always have a rough plan for my manuals and help files, which is
adaptable enough to cope with the differences between programs and strict
enough to ensure continuity between the manuals and help files I write,
i.e. users that have several of our programs will be familiar with the


Sybille Sterk
Technical Author and Translator (German)
Email: sybille -at- wowfabgroovy -dot- net
Web Site: <>
ICQ: #26779340

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