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
> 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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