From: Roger Johansson
Subject: More advice for programmers
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2002 13:54:39 +0200
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Most programmers do not realize how difficult it is to read a fixed
pitch font (sans serif) like Courier. So most help files, docs, and
manuals use such fonts.
In books and newspapers we use a font like Times New Roman, because it
is much easier to read.
Anybody can do a simple test:
Try to read a long text file on your computer, and change the font
type and size until you find a font which is really nice to read for
more than just a few sentences.
You will probably find that a proportional book-style font like Times
New Roman is a lot easier to read than any fixed pitch font like
The formatting of text is another, but related, issue.
Try not to write more than a few lines in each paragraph.
Like in this message, which you are reading right now.
Separate the paragraphs with inserted blank lines.
The logic of the text is another issue. Unfortunately this is not so
easy to help people with, as it depends on the way people think.
But it helps if you read through every text several times, thinking
about how you can make it more logical and easy to understand.
Make it easier to follow the line of thought.
This can mean that you have to try different ways of expressing what
you want to say.
The ability to imagine how another person would think is an invaluable
Use the most known words for things. Avoid special terms which only a
few people know, if there are better choices.