Just three days after I post about how I was going to consider the minority, I post how software development documentation should be written and published in just English.
Am I ignoring my theme of the year (or the week)?
I don’t think so.
I did consider the rest of the non-English-speaking world (which is actually the majority of the world), when I thought about that. Will anyone be harmed by a lack of API documentation written in Miskito, for example. I don’t think so. If it turns out that they might need it, however, I’ll revise my decision. But, what about in Spanish? Possibly. But, from the information I have available, probably not. Inconvenienced, might be the worst-case scenario.
So, while I won’t be writing any technical documentation for the Miskito people of Central America in the immediate future, they haven’t been ignored in the decision. As a side note, later this year, I will be helping to give them something they need much more than technical writing.
The point of this year’s theme was to consider the vast minority–include them in the design and thought process. So far, I think I’ve done that (for going on four days, now!). The point is to consider them. Include them in the design process. Ask the question, “Will not accommodating the minority hinder, or worse, harm them?” Sometimes it will, such as in the case of accessibility aspects of documentation. Sometimes it won’t, as in the case of translating or writing for people who have no use for the documentation in the first place (i.e. there are other problems to solve before that becomes an issue). In either outcome, they were included in the process.
Four days and counting…