Re: Good Manuals - Why Rare.

Subject: Re: Good Manuals - Why Rare.
From: Chris Hamilton <cah_91 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Peter <pnewman1 -at- home -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 06:02:51 -0800 (PST)

Peter--

I expect that we actually agree more than disagree. We
both want to make life as easy as possible for users.
It's just when we get down to the details that we
disagree.

Peter wrote:

>The argument that you and Chris are making is a
fallacious substitute for the "get the product out the
door at the lowest price" syndrome, paranoia, or both.
I don't buy it.

You don't have to buy it. And I don't have to write
very much about the internals to necessarily tell you
how to use the product effectively.

Let's use APIs as an example. Typically a product will
have internal and external APIs. You seem to indicate
that all of them should be documented. But you can't
use the internal APIs; you don't have access to them
or a conscious decision has been made by the company
to keep them out of the documentation. And although I
try to align myself with the user, I work for the
company. They pay me. And part of what they pay me for
is to not give away the company jewels. Now you're
free to consider that arrogance on my behalf or the
company's behalf, but that's the chance you take in
making these decisions.

> Users are required to sign a EULA, proscribing just
the activity that you describe. Intentional violations
of the EULA subject the violator to to both criminal
and civil sanctions.

Intentional violations also subject the plaintiff to a
costly legal fight with no promise of a payoff in the
end. I expect that if I were to cause my company to
have to litigate over such a thing, even if it won, I
wouldn't be there at the victory party.

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