Re: Plagiarism vs Fixed Botches

Subject: Re: Plagiarism vs Fixed Botches
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Techwrl-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 08:53:23 -0800 (PST)

> Truth be told, NOBODY ever completes 98% percent of a project (or any other
> high percentage) and then stops. (Note: I'm talking about content creation,
> not minor editing or formating.) If a person is proud of their work and is
> 98% done, he/she really wants to complete the project.
>
> Reality is "It's 98% done" projects are botched projects - particuarly,
> botched organization. And, almost without exception, they are badly botched
> projects. Completing that last "2%" is immesurably hard - harder than
> starting from scratch! And the person who is able to save a mess deserves
> the major credit - irregardless if he/she cuts & pastes a significant amount
> of existing text.

Lots of projects are 98% done (or less) and are resounding successes. Once
again, it is more important to get to market with a product than putter around
for eons fixing every error.

In fact, if you went back and looked at ALL the big software products released
in the last 10 years - I would bet you could make a strong case that these
products were no where near "done" when they were released. How often do you
hear people bitch that Microsoft puts out buggy software - yet Windows has made
Microsoft a gajillion dollars. Like it or lump it - Windows is a success, bugs
and all.

Documentation development, like software development, does not have hard and
fast end points. Documents are living entities that usually go on forever until
they are killed or replaced. I am working on a doc set right now for a client
that I originally wrote almost 4 years ago. That document has changed 4 or 5
times over since then as has the software. It has never been completely "done."

It doesn't matter if you don't like this arrangement, because this is how the
global markets work. There simply is not enough time to let tech writers obsess
over every detail.

Andrew Plato

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