TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
<< I need your thoughtful replies! With the proliferation of point
and click systems, is the old distinction between tutorial
material and reference material passe?>>
I feel that in order to best serve the end user, we must continue to provide
both a task-oriented and a reference section in our documentation.
Documenting each item on each menu doesn't describe how to actually use the
software. You may need to use the Widgets/Framistat menu item, then the
Overblatt/knutenvalve menu item followed by the Schnable/whoosis menu item
in order to do a basic task.
As an aside, I try to abuse the programmers whenever I find that they've
created a really stupid user interface, but there are many considerations
other than the rantings of an aging technical writer that influence software