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Subject:Re: Comments on On-Line Docs From:Win Day <winday -at- IDIRECT -dot- COM> Date:Sat, 13 May 1995 13:39:41 -0400
Sue Heim wrote:
>Arlen quoted Mr. Santos (Infoworld) with:
>> 1) I believe most documentation is completed after the software product is
>> finished. So for many vendors there is a tendency and a temptation to release
>> the software product without the manual.
>Hello? I don't know about any other vendors, but all of the software
>vendors I have ever worked for absolutely never released product (for
>sale) without docs. Beta test, yes. Production release, no. There
>have been occasions when the release of a product was delayed (thank
>heavens not lately) due to the fact that a manual wasn't completed or
>back from the printer yet. Including a manual is an integral part of
>the complete software package.
My current client is a process control engineering firm that happens to
produce and sell software as part of their complete service package. The
have 5 mature products, one due for initial release at the end of June, and
2 being developed.
I am writing their FIRST true manual, and it's for the package to be
released in June. The other mature products all went out for initial
release without any kind of documentatino whatsoever, and were accompanied
by a training session (no handouts, though). Docs tended to be released
between 6 months and a year after software versions. Some of these packages
are up to major revision #5, but the docs are at #2 or #3.
I have higher hopes for the packages still under development. But I've only
been working with them since January, so I tread carefully when I suggest
things like involving me in the development cycle (utter blasphemy!).
Email: winday -at- idirect -dot- com