Irony in technical textbooks

I am currently working on finishing my B.S. degree, and my current course is on Web design.  The author has taken pains to help us understand these two concepts:

1. “Your Web site should look, feel, and work the same as everyone else’s.”  Good advice if you want people to easily navigate it.  Here’s the irony – rather than using absolute page numbers like most texts, this book paginates each chapter separately.  I have seen it before, but it’s far from standard.  It makes it harder to find what you’re looking for, IMO.

2. “There should not be any dead ends in your site.”  Also good advice.  Here’s the problem – after eight chapters, I STILL haven’t been able to locate the answers to the end-of-chapter quizzes.  Talk about a dead end.

So the moral of the story is – follow your own advice.

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3 Comments on “Irony in technical textbooks”

  1. mrosedale Says:

    Funny Irony, but I am not sure that I agree with 1. K maybe I do for navigation purposes, but I like different styles and techniques. I guess it would depend on what, exactly, he means. I have this dry picture in my head of everything looking and acting the same no innovation and no change. Imagine if we were still into frames and html of the 90’s and no one innovated the new Web2.0 style because all “Web site(s) should look, feel, and work the same as everyone else’s.”

  2. bfpower Says:

    I have been thinking that myself. I would probably point out a couple of things – the book is not very up to date. It is from maybe four years ago, which in computer years, is a long time (kind of like doggie years). Also, it is a textbook, and they are trying teach the “right” way. It’s like learning German from a book – you aren’t going to speak it that way, but if they don’t teach you that foundation, you will end up sounding like a tourist.

    They are embracing the 2.0 concept (as much as it was available when it was written), but I think they’re trying to steer students away from creating a site that no one will be able to navigate. I think I’m going to post more about this issue.

  3. bfpower Says:

    I finally found the answers to the chapter questions, tucked away on a supplemental CD. Why not just put them in the book? =)


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