Do customers have implicit, unspecified right to documentation?

Subject: Do customers have implicit, unspecified right to documentation?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 08:42:16 -0500

Joe Sokohl wondered: <<Here's the situation: * Custom software for one
client. * Contract does not specify documentation of any sort...nor does
any project plan. * Customer now feels he should not have to pay extra for
documetation.>>

Sometimes, remembering the golden rule really does put things in
perspective. Would _you_ want to receive any product without documentation?
Not me, and that works across all categories of product, even cars; I've
been driving for nearly a quarter century, but wouldn't accept a car without
an owner's manual. Would you accept the next edition of Word without online
help or a printed manual? Not me. Have you ever seen software distributed
without a manual or information where one could be obtained? Not me. (Even
freeware usually comes with a readme file.) Until the day that interfaces
have become self-explanatory and intuitive to the point that they make
documentation obsolete, no product is complete without some form of
documentation.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Hofstadter's Law: The time and effort required to complete a project are
always more than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's
Law.




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