• Subject: RE: IBM Documentation (was CA Express and Life Certainties)
  • From: Joel Fritz <JFritz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 07:59:45 -0800

That was the idea of books on alchemy.  Everything was expressed in
metaphorical terms to confuse the uninitiate.  That's the origin of the
phrase "hermetic knowledge,"--something about Hermes and alchemy.  IBM
documentation doesn't go that far, and some is very good.  The problem is,
that a lot of topics are _only_ covered in reference manuals and it takes a
fair amount of detective work to put all the pieces together.  By nature, a
reference manual doesn't provide the conceptual overview that many people
need when learning something new.  The internet has changed the whole book
buying experience, and there are aftermarket books for the AS/400, but even
so, you can't go down to the mall book store and find "Dummies" titles for
AS/400 topics.  IBM documentation is many people's only resource.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Simon Coulter [mailto:shc@flybynight.com.au]
> Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2000 4:48 PM
> To: MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
> Subject: Re: IBM Documentation (was CA Express and Life Certainties)
> OE
> Hello Jeff,
> You wrote:
> >Sometimes I think the IBM manual writers spend too much time 
> trying to
> >teach or lead you to determining how to do something, instead of just
> >saying "Here's how you do X".
> So you would rather have an Alchemist's Grimoire than a 
> reference manual?  Such an 
> approach would mean that perplexing topics will forever 
> remain recondite.
> Regards,
> Simon Coulter.
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