A photo of a bottle-nosed dolphin, quite obviously not worried about writer's block

wrote a post the other day called “Writer’s
block sucks”
and I just wanted to say, that I agree with him

As noted in my last entry, I’m trying to spend time writing up
documentation, articles and FAQs about our translation tools in
anticipation of them being open sourced. So far, it’s not going too well
: as I mentioned a while back, the corollary to “Writer’s block sucks”
is “Everything
is interesting when you should be working”
. I tend to just want
to lark about, doing things I enjoy doing (a bit like the photo on the
left there – taken by me on Milford
, back in March ; clearly that dolphin isn’t sitting about,
fretting over how to write technical documentation !)

I’m trying hard to focus, honest – but it’s quite a challenge !
I’ve now got the site up on java.net, though we’re still in an incubator
area, where we’ll stay at least until we’ve got source code available,
some decent docs and a mission statement of some sort. Work in progress,
but as soon as we’re promoted out of the incubator, I’ll make lots
of noise on this blog and will try to send emails to anyone who’s talked
to me about the tools at all over the last year or so. Thankfully the
lack of documentation isn’t a botttleneck so far : I’m still hanging on
for the copyright statements from Legal before I can put any source code
up there, but I’m not going to let that become an excuse !

As regards writer’s block sucking, during lunch last week, JohnC
(one of the original authors of the translation tools, now moved onto
other things) made some pretty good recommendations for books about
writing. He hasn’t posted reviews yet, but perhaps this post will help
to extract said review :-). The first was The
Elements of Style
and I’ve completely forgotten the second, sorry.
While I haven’t yet read that book, the reviews I’ve seen make it seem
quite a bit more approachable than the venerable Chicago
Manual Of Style
which is a scary tome that is sitting here on my
desk, looming darkly at me. Getting tired of my incessant whinging about
having to write docs not code, DamienD flung it at me earlier in the
week (it’s a heavy book – I’m glad his aim was off!). I suspect that if
I do take the time to read the chicago book before writing this
documentation, I’ll be old and grey when finished, and the tools will
never get released. Better get back to it.