Re: Decomposing

Subject: Re: Decomposing
From: "Steven J. Owens" <puff -at- netcom -dot- com>
To: BEllison -at- UTS -dot- Itron -dot- com
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 10:32:36 -0800 (PST)

Beth Ellison writes:
> Whether it's correct or not, it just sounds bad. Or at least,
> funny. If I read it in a professional document it would distract me
> and make me doubt it. And distractions and doubts are best left to
> programmers:) You gotta love a thesaurus.

This comment highlights the critical question that everybody
seems to be oblivious to, which is, *who* is going to be reading the
document in question. Decomposition is in fact a jargon term used in
certain neighborhoods of the programming world. It has a specific
meaning and is understood in specific contexts. If the match between
those contexts and the intended audience of the document is good, and
the term is being used properly, then it is appropriate.

Sheesh. No wonder programmers and engineers start to get
obnoxious opinions of technical writers. This reminds me of the
inane, long-winded discussion back in '93 or '94 about the
"male-oriented terminology" inherent in "Retry, execute, abort?".

(And if you want to know why *that* is inane, send me private email).

(A brief, layman's level example of how a task is decomposed can be
found at the "Co-Evolution of Robotic Behaviors" site:
http://www.aic.nrl.navy.mil/~schultz/research/co-evolution/decompose.html)


Steven J. Owens
puff -at- netcom -dot- com





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