needed to precede

hhtt21

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"If you have the AutoCAD 2011 media, the version of DirectX installer needed to precede the AutoCAD 2012 installation is in the following location: [AutoCAD 2011 Media]\Support\DirectX\DXSETUP.EXE."


Would you please explain what "needed to precede" means above?

Does precede used above mean predate/come before? If so, above sentence seems so complex that I cannot understand it.

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SoothingDave

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You need to install the one piece of software (DirectX) before you install the other (AutoCAD 2012).
 

hhtt21

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You need to install the one piece of software (DirectX) before you install the other (AutoCAD 2012).
Then should not it write: If you have the AutoCAD 2011 media, the version of DirectX installation needed to precede the AutoCAD 2012 installation is in the following location: [AutoCAD 2011 Media]\Support\DirectX\DXSETUP.EXE."?

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GoesStation

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No. You need the specified version of DirectX; the word "installation" is superfluous. However, the sentence is badly written. It would be clearer if written in the order of the requirements: If you have the AutoCAD 2011 media, you must install the DirectX version located in [AutoCAD 2011 Media]\Support\DirectX\DXSETUP.EXE before installing AutoCad 2012.
 

SoothingDave

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"Direct X installer" is the thing which installs Direct X. The installation is the process of installing something.

The installer (of Direct X) is needed before you do the installation (of AutoCAD).
 

GoesStation

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In the software world, an installation can mean both the process of installing something and the ensemble of the installed product.
 

SoothingDave

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True, but the "installer" would be the piece of software that installs the application.
 

hhtt21

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" The installer (of Direct X) is needed before you do the installation (of AutoCAD).
Well, above also seems odd to me because the installer itself, being there, makes nothing for the installation of Autocad. Actually the installer itself not needed because we use it for the installation, after the installation we can delete installer so should not it be written as "The installation of Direct X is needed before you do the installation of AutoCAD?

Yours is indirect way, mine is the direct way of what is required.

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GoesStation

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Well, above also seems odd to me because the installer itself, being there, makes nothing for the installation of Autocad. Actually the installer itself not needed because we use it for the installation, after the installation we can delete installer so should not it be written as "The installation of Direct X is needed before you do the installation of AutoCAD?

Yours is indirect way, mine is the direct way of what is required.

The passive sentence is awkward, but your point is correct: the real requirement is the DirectX driver. The document should say that. You must have DirectX version x.xx installed before installing AutoCAD 2012.
 

hhtt21

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The passive sentence is awkward​

What do you mean by "The passive sentence"?

but your point is correct: the real requirement is the DirectX driver. The document should say that. You must have DirectX version x.xx installed before installing AutoCAD 2012.

This is exactly what I mean to say. Why are such important documents not prepared good enough?

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GoesStation

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What do you mean by "The passive sentence"?

The one written in the passive voice.
This is exactly what I mean to say. Why are such important documents not prepared [STRIKE]good[/STRIKE] well enough?

Poor writing is sadly more the rule than the exception in technical fields. One simple reason is that a great many documents are written by non-native English speakers.
 

Rover_KE

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Another is that incompetent translators are employed.
 

SoothingDave

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Well, above also seems odd to me because the installer itself, being there, makes nothing for the installation of Autocad. Actually the installer itself not needed because we use it for the installation, after the installation we can delete installer so should not it be written as "The installation of Direct X is needed before you do the installation of AutoCAD?

Yours is indirect way, mine is the direct way of what is required.

Thank you.

Well, the original isn't "mine," I am just explaining to you what it means.

The main purpose of this sentence is to tell you where the installer is. So, yes, it is important to mention the installer.

Your sentence explains that Direct X is needed to be installed before. But it does not give the location of the installer needed to do this.

The original sentence, though dense and seemingly confusing, does indeed convey the entire message.
 

hhtt21

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The passive sentence is awkward, but your point is correct: the real requirement is the DirectX driver. The document should say that. You must have DirectX version x.xx installed before installing AutoCAD 2012.

How can you re-form this sentence, using verb precede, conveying the same idea ie retaning the meaning?

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GoesStation

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How can you re-form this sentence, using the verb precede, conveying the same idea; i.e., retaining the meaning?

I wouldn't use that verb here because using it results in an overcomplicated sentence.
 

hhtt21

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I wouldn't use that verb here because using it results in an overcomplicated sentence.
It might make the sentence shorter in spite of its complexity, do you agree? Let me try: "DirectX installation needed to precede the AutoCAD 2012 installation."

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GoesStation

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It might make the sentence shorter in spite of its complexity, do you agree? Let me try: "DirectX installation [STRIKE]needed to​[/STRIKE] must precede the AutoCAD 2012 installation."

With my correction, your sentence is clear. However, when it comes to writing instructions, it's possible to be too succinct. It's better to tell the user what they have to do in the order they have to do it:

1. If version x.xx of Direct X is not already installed, run the installer at [pathname]. [Insert instructions telling how to identify the installed DirectX version and how to install DirectX, or a reference to them, here.]

2. Install AutoCAD 2012.
a. Do this....
b. Do that....
 

hhtt21

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With my correction, your sentence is clear. However, when it comes to writing instructions, it's possible to be too succinct. It's better to tell the user what they have to do in the order they have to do it:

1. If version x.xx of Direct X is not already installed, run the installer at [pathname]. [Insert instructions telling how to identify the installed DirectX version and how to install DirectX, or a reference to them, here.]

2. Install AutoCAD 2012.
a. Do this....
b. Do that....

What is a and b?

​Thank you.
 

GoesStation

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What is a and b?


An example of one way to write clear instructions. I wrote a bit of an outline which another writer could base the instructions on.
 
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