>>Quality is primarily a subjective opinion;
>>Similarly, whether a product is crap or not is again an opinion, not
an objective evaluation that can applied in all cases.

When you work in the semi-conductor industry making high-tech
instruments that are used in fabs (chip fabrication plants), quality is
not subjective. If the tool stops running after a few thousand cycles or
a part on the tool fails after only a few months of running, then it's
objective. A part broke, the Tool shutdown, quality is crap, that's not

TechWriters in my field document the software that runs on these types
of tools. If you go to a fab, you'll see the type of tools I am taking

BTW, why don't you identify who you are? You act so sanctimonious yet
you hide behind a moniker. Have some cohones and tell us who you are.

Thank you,

<mailto:gflato at nanometrics.com> 

Gillian Flato

Technical Writer (Software)


1550 Buckeye Dr. 

Milpitas, CA. 95035


7  408.232.5911

* gflato at nanometrics <mailto:gflato at nanometrics.com> .com
<blocked::mailto:v at nanometrics.com> 


        From: Technical Writer [mailto:tekwrytr at hotmail.com] 
        Sent: Friday, October 19, 2007 9:37 AM
        To: Flato, Gillian; framers at lists.frameusers.com
        Subject: RE: radical revamping of techpubs

        And I know of a CEO who used to either get there first, or let
the wannabes struggle over the crumbs. Name of Bill Gates.

        Quality is primarily a subjective opinion; witness the 90+% of
the population of the planet using Windows, despite the occasional Blue
Screen of Death, or necessary re-booting orre-installing required.
Similarly, whether a product is crap or not is again an opinion, not an
objective evaluation that can applied in all cases. The Debian flavor of
Linux is considered "the best" by some, and "the worst" by some. The
opinions are subjective.

        Everyone TW wants to believe that he or she is producing quality
documentation that creates a warm fuzzy in the user, and makes
customers-for-life of the company that produces whatever is being
documented. I simply suggest a reality check may be more useful.

        If the TW is documenting software, perhaps he or she should
change fields to one with a slower pace of life (and writing). The
option is to accept the realities of the marketplace, and how those
influence and constrain the production of technical documentation. In a
world in which dynamic onlne help files are rapidly replacing hard copy
documents, it seems more useful to focus on developing a skill set that
enables high-volume production of acceptable quality content, rather
than obsessing over trivial (to most users) details of grammar,
construction, or voice.

        In that direction may lie the future of TW--get it written, get
it online, and concentrate on the Pareto principle of satisfying the
needs of the majority of users rather than obsessing over the subjective
opinions of the minority. 

        < From: gflato at nanometrics.com
        > To: tekwrytr at hotmail.com; framers at lists.frameusers.com
        > ...or similar biggies realize that time-to-market is
        > Time-to-market is not everything if you sacrifice quality. If
you're first on the market but your product is crap, the fact that you
were first on the market is irrelevant. 
        > I know a CEO who got fired because all he cared about is being
first on the market but his products were crap and failed often. Other
company's that were slower to market but turned out quality products,
stole marketshare from that company. The company almost went under until
the board of Directors wisely fired him and put a new CEO at the helm.
        > -Gillian


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