Re: Make It Pretty

Subject: Re: Make It Pretty
From: Laurie Rubin <lmr -at- SYL -dot- NJ -dot- NEC -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 1994 14:11:24 -0500

I recently had to justify to the development engineers why I wanted to review a
design doc. I explained that my function was purely to "clarify any points
that I found were unclear." That goes for any documentation. We try to fix
the grammar and the punctuation, make pretty pictures, tables, lists, etc.,
and use whatever tools we have available, primarily to make sure
that whatever is going to be used (or written) is clearly and effectively

> Please help...
> There's a fellow in my chain of command who refers to our work
> (Technical Publications Department) as "making it pretty."
> As you might guess, I find this statement offensive, but through the grace
> of God, managed to hold my tongue when I heard it.
> I don't know how things are for the rest of you, but we write user
> documentation for both hardware and software, we operate on tight deadlines,
> the raw material from engineering is *very* raw (as well as incomplete and
> often incoherent).In any given day we could be turning wrenches, "playing"
> on the system software, chasing down plumbing specs, or making it pretty.
> We use FrameMaker on both Unix and MS Windows. In other words, we are no
> slouches.
> I need some perspective here from fellow professionals. I'd also like a
> clever one-liner to quip back.
> = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

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