Re: Plagiarism vs Fixed Botches

Subject: Re: Plagiarism vs Fixed Botches
From: "Stan Xhiao" <mrlukeplease -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 07:35:49 CST


I never thought of it this way and neither have my past employers and clients. It's funny how people will go ballistic when they find an inconsequential typo in an end-user manual, yet shrug off flaws in the product as "part of the process."

We had a new software developer start yesterday; she spent the entire day proofreading some old internal documents and correcting what she felt were errors, such as changing all instances of "able to" to "capable of." Maybe she could have spent a few minutes looking at code, too.

I like your outlook. Nobody is perfect, all we can do is strive for that goal... within reason.


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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