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location Pittsburgh PA
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visits member for 3 years, 6 months
seen 12 hours ago

I'm an elected moderator on Mi Yodeya and The Workplace, and a pro-tempore mod here on Writers and on WorldBuilding. I'm pretty active on the SE network.

Professionally, I'm a technical writer who works with (and often helps design) programming interfaces. I've written programming guides, tutorials, reference applications (runnable examples), reference documentation (for Java, C++, C, SOAP, and REST APIs), and even a little user documentation. I'd love to see more technical-writing questions here on Writers!

A word of warning: if you are interested in the Biblical Hermeneutics site, I urge you to consider these words from a non-Christian who went down that path. They want people to help build their site (which they say is non-religious), but they allow Christian evangelism and presumption, quite a bit of it. Learn from another's mistake. See also: Working with idolaters, infidels, and the impious: can interfaith discourse work?


Feb
12
comment Using “he/she” instead of “it” for animals
I agree. The ambiguity of the situation (maybe a real bird, maybe not) calls for "it", as the latter would never be a "he". Even if you know it's a bird, "it" isn't wrong for a bird that you don't know anything about -- as opposed to, say, somebody's pet bird, Polly, whom you know to be a "she".
Feb
11
comment Capitalization of personal event names
On the other hand, if an event has central importance to a plot, even if it hasn't been given the name "officially" (whatever that means), it can sometimes be capitalized. For example, in the series of alternate-history books beginning with 1632, the unexplained event that caused the rip in the fabric of space-time is consistently referred to as the "Ring of Fire". In the case of an essay about a book called The Assault, I would look for capitalization patterns in that book and, if it's done there, do it in the essay.
Feb
9
revised Does excessive use of prepositions make writing unclear?
I think this is what you meant
Feb
7
comment Marking a chart that is not based on real data
@PraveshParekh it's worth checking for any guidelines the university has with respect to this. I'm pretty sure I've seen this in university tech reports and the like; I don't have any thesis-specific experience.
Feb
7
comment How to display URLs in a textbook?
Reviewing prior art can be helpful. It may not apply to your situation, but seeing how others have solved a problem might save you time and frustration.
Feb
6
revised Marking a chart that is not based on real data
added link to example
Feb
6
answered Marking a chart that is not based on real data
Feb
6
comment How to display URLs in a textbook?
There might be style guides out there that address this. I assume those would count as "credible sources". (By the way, the bounty language is SE boilerplate; the bounty-giver didn't write those words.) The web has been broadly available for 20 years now; I would hope that there are industry standards (note plural :-) ) for how to deal with this problem.
Feb
6
comment How to reference a figure from text in a technical document
Are you following a particular style guide? If so, which one?
Feb
3
comment How to display URLs in a textbook?
Also, if you drop the "http://", then the first time you need to use "https://" you have a problem -- your URLs are either wrong or inconsistent in appearance. Don't confuse your readers like that.
Feb
3
comment How should I handle repeating parts in a technical description?
Can you say more about how the documentation will be used? You said a sales document but it sounds like you're writing instructions. Will your readers be trying to take actions based on the documentation, or is the purpose to give them information so they can decide whether to buy your product?
Feb
3
comment How should I handle repeating parts in a technical description?
This is how I would approach it as technical documentation, too. I'm not sure how the sales aspect figures in, though. We need to know more about how this will be used.
Jan
23
revised What is the best way to cite an anonymous writer?
removed promotional content (which, contrary to the claim, was not a reference for this information)
Jan
21
reviewed Approve suggested edit on tinyURL seen as risky by readers?
Jan
16
asked How can we make compiling release notes less chaotic?
Jan
16
answered What are the tool choices for producing technical documentation in PDF and web site ready HTML?
Jan
15
comment Is there a great manual for technical and scientific writing?
This seems quite broad to me. There isn't just one book that will tell you everything you need to know about scientific and academic writing, just like there isn't one that will tell you everything you need to know about writing fiction. I recommend asking more-specific questions (what do you want to know from that book you seek?), which we'll be better able to help you with.
Jan
15
comment Can Google Docs be used for technical product documentation?
@Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 yeah, it would be getting a little afield of the question -- hence my decision to comment, not suggest an edit. :-)
Jan
15
comment What non-WYSIWYG, non-proprietary alternatives to (La)TeX exist for the humanities, journalism, and other non-technical disciplines?
It was the back-and-forth about Microsoft and what is or isn't good/evil/proprietary/intelligent/capitalistic/etc. I kept the comments that contained helpful info (see the first two).
Jan
14
comment Can Google Docs be used for technical product documentation?
Seconded re using your version-control system. This also means that when you branch or tag the code for specific releases, patches, or other efforts, your docs will go alongside the code, helping to keep it clear to all what goes with what.