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Thread: Atricle on documentation

  1. #1
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    Atricle on documentation

    http://weblog.infoworld.com/foster/2004/11/02.html#a175

    Good read, I have noticed that people who have grown up with computers use the "manual" much less than us old timers.

    And symbols, pictures, objects are more important now than words.

    Pudding stole Marks avatar and folks saw the picture and thought it was a post from our fearless leader, all bow to Atlanta.

    I just spent some time looking for 'quote' I knew it was there but where?
    Oh, damm, it was a symbol not a word. Did the same thing on another site, email, where? A little envelope, very small envelope.

    It cool, most likely much faster and its me with the problem not you. But do we need to consider this in our education practices? Product design? Life by cartoon?

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    It is an instant gratification thing. The younger the generation the quicker they are used to getting what they want. An image can convey alot more in a shorter time than a bunch of text slapped together by an engineer who is probably communicationally challenged anyway.

    I don't think it is something that needs to be addressed in the education system, you pick it up as you go really.

    I totally disagree with you statement "And symbols, pictures, objects are more important now than words.
    ". Without words to initially give meaning to symbols, pictures, and objects, they would be meaningless. They are quite simply shortcuts, symlinks even. :wink:
    jro - http://jeff.robbins.ws
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    Re: Atricle on documentation

    Yeah, it's a good article. But the documentation problem has been a problem for as long as there've been computers (and before that for "some assembly required" situations). Where computer software is concerned, the vast majority of time is spent making the app work (that is: debugging, and more debugging). It can get difficlut to document a set of features when those features keep changing, or working differently as the debugging/refinement process goes on. By the time the app has hit gold release, it has taken many directions to get to where it is, and the documentation can suffer as a result (and not everyone has a separate department to keep track of such things during the refinement stage... Especially Open Source, code it at night after the day-job scenarios.

    Pictures do communicate faster than words, but both words and pictures could be interpreted differently, by different people ("press any key to continue"... Where's the "any" key?! :P ) . Ok, well... You can't really fool-proof software any better than you can fool-proof hardware, so your instructions can be only as good/bad as the expert/idiot who is trying to use them. A good thing I've been seeing lately is Flash Player and audio and video instruction for software (included with the software, not as an expensive extra). With inexpensive voice recorders on the market now, even an Open Source coder can speak his/her notes as the project develops, and then edit the audio files just before final release. But then you have those projects that really never get to "final release" (blackbox/fluxbox, XFree86, ... ). I don't know. Good food for thought tho.
    Steve

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    Re: Atricle on documentation

    I totally disagree with you statement "And symbols, pictures, objects are more important now than words.
    ". Without words to initially give meaning to symbols, pictures, and objects, they would be meaningless. They are quite simply shortcuts, symlinks even. Wink
    My grandchildren knew to klik on the "envelope" before they could read "email"

    People learning to read after puberty are taught "sight words" first. Pictures of things they already know, a picture of a bird then the word bird.

    From my wife who teaches English as a second language, some people recongnize the 'shape' of the word more than the letters.

    I have no idea what this is leading to. But its about the human race and its evolution.

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    its leading to a dumbing down of the american people that the communists would love so they can keep us all under their controll. Big Brother here we come.

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    Re: Atricle on documentation

    communists = Capitalism
    Big Brother here we come = Patriot Act
    controll = All governments

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