Friday, 1 January 2016

The Death Star : a lesson in incomplete documentation

The Haynes workshop manual for the Death Star is impressive as far as it goes, and ordinarily I would say 128 pages is large for a single volume piece of physical documentation - but to cover a subject the size of a small moon this is pitifully inadequate.

The Boeing 747 for example represents a million pages of documentation.

We can assume with this lack of written oversight and planning just building the Death Star is some achievement but lack of decent documentation really makes itself felt in the hands of users, and here we can see the usability issues apparent in flawed planning and conception stages. The Death Star is only successfully used against only one peaceful defenceless planet, and as for it's first disastrous use in actual combat it appears the only people fully documenting the critical exhaust port issues were not part of the intended user group.

We can assume the Empire's Information Governance issues re: Death Star plans will be covered in the forthcoming documentary ROGUE ONE.

In the light of several ongoing issues with similar projects (Death Star II, Starkiller Base) I'm prepared to make myself available to cover legacy issues on such large scale projects going forward. The Galactic Empire and The New Order wouldn't be my first choice but my several stints working for British newspapers show I'm prepared to do a job for a wide moral spectrum of clients where the need arises.

I bought someone Hayne's Millennium Falcon workshop manual for Christmas and he loves it.
Reading my own copy again I'm surprised to find FORCE AWAKENS apparently stays consistent with it. That new square radar dish on the Falcon is actually the original civilian equipment for that freighter. The round dish we saw on the Falcon in Star Wars, Empire (and lost by Lando at the end of Jedi) was a military spec mod added by Han and Chewbacca.

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