As you may or may not, know – heck, who am I kidding, of course you don’t know. Let me start again.
I work in the user education department here at Microsoft, specifically in the Developer Division. Even more specifically, I work with the C# team.
Today, as I was writing some stuff that some day you might read, I found myself wondering idly whether delivering documents in electronic format was really the best way to do things. I know searching is great, and copying and pasting code is even more great, but gee whizz – I just love flicking through a good book to get information, don’t you?
I’m surrounded here by dozens of books, and I’m not sure if having them all in electronic format would make my life any easier. Books are tactile, they’re easy to launch, I love randomly accessing pages, I use bookmarks, and the ink and paper is almost soothing to my eyes after staring at monitors all day.
Perhaps electronic ink displays will make a difference, but I was certainly whistful for the days I did some programming in Delphi. I really liked that that set of manuals. Big, rough paper with great example code. I loved it, and it made learning and using Delphi very straightforward.
So what do you think – is the ease of use of electronic searching and the Internet worth the trade off? Should we return to dead tree technology?