Re: Reading the Manuals (Was Macs vs PCs)

Subject: Re: Reading the Manuals (Was Macs vs PCs)
From: Jan Boomsliter <boom -at- CADENCE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 1995 07:29:44 -0700

I submit, in response to Robert Plamondon's thesis, that there is a
huge differences between the first two of the following methods of
using word processing software, and the third:

- learning the software by trying it out
- studying the software by using the manuals

- entering data by using typing-class techniques

I suggest we limit this thread to the first two kinds of users. The
typist isn't really using the software, agreed?


Setting aside the question of why we're all busting a gut to write
quality documentation when many of us take pride in never reading any,
I must admit that most people I've worked at feel the same way.

For example, I have yet to find ANYONE besides me who has ever even
noticed Microsoft Word's "Style Sheet" feature. Nor do they understand
automatic numbering. Many indent paragraphs by typing three or five
spaces, and even center lines by spacing to the middle of the page.
They use whatever the default font is, exclusively.

They usually don't pay enough attention to realize that the small
cadre of skilled users can write, format, and illustrate ten pages
to their one (and I do NOT exaggerate), with results that are infinitely
more professional, maintainable, and transportable.


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