RE: AuthorIT feedback

Subject: RE: AuthorIT feedback
From: Chuck Martin <CMartin -at- serena -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 10:32:27 -0800

> -----Original Message-----
> From: kimber_miller -at- acs-inc -dot- com [mailto:kimber_miller -at- acs-inc -dot- com]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2000 9:01 AM
> To: TECHWR-L
> Subject: AuthorIT feedback
>
> The online documentation is excellent at presenting concepts
> and describing most
> functions. There is, however, virtually NO procedural
> documentation. I am told
> that the procedure manual is in development.
>
This makes me wonder why a development team would ever think that software
was ready for release when the documentation is not complete--and this from
a company that produces software designed to create documentation.

The non-user-centered decision to release software without complete docs
would lead me to believe that the rest of the product was not designed with
users in mind--and that without ever even seeing the product. Such an
attitude toward users would certainly color my impressions of the product
should I decide to evaluate it.

(Note: I did try the product that was the precursor to AuthorIT and was
reasonably impressed by its approach to creating documentation. But not
impressed enough to put it into a production environment, at the time, an
environment of Help source files that consisted of several dozen coded RTF
files and more than 6000 Help topics.)

I think it's especially egregious when software designed for creating
documentation has missing our lousy documentation itself. RoboHELP is
another example of a product with poor docs; I rarely have found what I
needed when I had a question using that tool.

--
Chuck Martin
Sr. Technical Writer, SERENA Software

"People who use business software might despise it, but they are getting
paid to tolerate it....Most people who are paid to use a tool feel
constrained not to complain about that tool, but it doesn't stop them from
feeling frustrated and unhappy about it."
- "The Inmates are Running the Asylum"
Alan Cooper


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