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Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 1125
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 12:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

by Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT
Cincinnati, OH

Wouldn’t it be interesting if, instead of a specification competition, we had a “specification comparison”? Something a little lighter, for a change, but still productive and interesting!

I think this would really be both helpful and educational for all, since we all do not write our specs in exactly the same way. This is due in part to the requirements of our clients [public versus private versus governmental, etc.]. In addition, much of it has to do with our philosophy, our direction and our opinions.

Also, we need to understand that relatively few of us ever are sued [is that a mark of success?] and when so engaged, it is usually over some non-technical wording [attorneys love to twist words, meanings and intentions to their clients benefit, which makes suits unfair challenges to us, being basically non-legal as we are]. Failure, for whatever reason, usually is not related to bad selections and directions, but toward improper installation, or manufacturing shortcomings.

From various discussions, we can see that there are mind boggling, vast and diverse arrays of resources and reference material that any one of us has at our disposal and in which we have confidence. Recent example-- Did you ever hear of, or see SDI 127J-04 in their Technical Data Series Industry Alert? Whoa!!! Here is really deep and interesting “stuff” not all that obvious or apparent except to the deep and highly dedicated researcher. Most of us tend to run the hell out of “Search” in an effort to pick up any tid-bit that is appropriate or useful to our cause, circumstance or problem.

For all its good directions, programs and intentions, we all have not been corralled into “doing it the CSI way”-- in general principles perhaps, but not in all detail. We don’t use the same fonts; we don’t use the same wording; we don't express our requirements in precisely the same manner [nor do we need to]; we tend to re-use products that have been successful for us in the past, but which are not universal with us all; our products are about as individual as our fingerprints, or the proverbial dissimilar snowflakes! It would just be interesting to see how we formulate, compile and present our specs [as opposed to just how we do-- or should—write them].

It would be neat [they still say that?] to see what others do-- don’t you think? Or don’t you give a whip-stitch about this? Maybe it’s just me, but I like to see, glean, crib and steal what others do that makes me and my work better. I have some “heroes” and “heroines” in this business [NO list will ever be released!!!] and have come to admire [and often am amazed] what others do. Granted our practice is different from many, but then isn’t your practice different too?

I think a display along with a forum for a nice, civil, non-opinioned, non-judgmental, non-pompous comparison of products [with some quiet discussion] could be beneficial and profitable to many of us. I do realize some have reached their optimized plateau and care to go no place else, but some of us, I think, always like to peek over the fence to see what’s going on elsewhere in our world. Well, just a thought-- more than likely will never occur………..but, then, who knows?

Hey! Wait! I think we can pull this off! I don’t perceive that we are so parochial or closeted or secretive to not allow others to see our work. Our discussions and sharing show we are open; we love to learn new things; and we are willing—always—to chip in and help others. OK! Just say where and when!

How about a tabletop display at the 2010 SHOW?; examples from various offices for viewing; only to see what others do! Might learn something [know I will]. No critiques involved, as we are not in competition to see who is closest to CSI criteria; looking at other aspects of work-- appearance, fonts, formatting, colors, styles, information, presentation techniques, etc. other than technical content!

Why not? I bet there’ll be some real doozies, innovations and great insight! See you and your example there!

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