February 27, 2002 spout

Please Say Why”

As .NET demands new books and articles and the economy has given a lot of smart folk free time, the world is becoming inundated in .NET books, articles, talks and courses, many of which I am tapped to review. Some are wonderful. Some are awful. Most, however are *almost* good, the path to goodness well within the author’s reach but for the answer to one question: why?”

Most of my feedback is riddled with questions that start with why: Why was it built this way?” Why are there three choices and how do I choose?” Why should I care?” Please, when you write, remember this question and answer it thoroughly and well. The why is *so* much more important than the how. The online documentation for .NET is fabulous for describing the how, once you understand the motivation for this class, that method or the other namespace.

Prose that provides the how is transient, but prose that provides the why becomes classic because the why itself is surprisingly applicable between technologies. At the very least, if you answer the why, it will save me work if I’m to review your prose.