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Subject: FLASH: In rebuttal of printed books always being outdated...
From: Scott Wilkinson
Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 00:33:21 GMT

It's been suggested here that books in print are outdated the moment they're

For books that do little more than describe the specific feature set of a
given application and offer a few examples on how to use it, that's true
more often than not.

However, there is another kind of book that is never outdated. This book is
one that doesn't deal with specific menu items and version idiosyncracies.
Instead, this book would describe work processes and methods that are
universal to any application. This book would offer valuable insights on
what kinds of products are more effective than others. This book would deal
more with fundamental principles that are often ignored: structure, story
flow, emotional impact of various color schemes, etc.

I know some of you may be saying "what good would a book like that be?" A
lot of good! Unfortunately, we don't see books like this often--probably
because they are much more difficult to write!

I, for example, could write a book on music composition that would be
timeless...I wouldn't deal with specific applications or samplers or
editors...instead, I would discuss tonal qualities inherent in all sound and
music, harmonic structures that make a piece happy or ominous, musical form,
high frequencies vs. low frequencies, etc.

Of course, my book might not sell...<grin> But the point is, there are
*plenty* of timeless issues that are critical to the work we do every day
that don't get discussed much. Someone might agonize over how to achieve a
certain popup...but the question could be asked: do you really need the
popup? Is there a better way to present the info?

Okay, I'll shutup now. (Stepping off soapbox...)


Scott Wilkinson
Alias Design, Inc.

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